Dorset Newsdesk

Hoburne Holidays Nominated for 2017 British Travel Award

Hoburne Holidays has been nominated for Best UK Family Holiday/Holiday Park Operator in the prestigious 2017 British Travel Awards (BTAs). The winners will be determined by the consumer, who has until 30 September to cast their vote, with the successful companies announced at the BTA Gala Awards Dinner, being held in London on 29 November 2017.

Hoburne is a family business, providing traditional, quality family holidays. With roots stretching back more than 100 years, Hoburne have grown and evolved as a business, but always held on to the established values that have served them well.

This year over £450,000 was invested at Hoburne Devon Bay to meet the change in customer needs and expectations. The park received refurbished leisure facilities, a new family friendly Café area, a new look decking and patio area, offering stunning views across the bay, and a new and improved communal area. To Vote Go To


Snowtrax Launch Life-sized Pirate Ship Attraction!

Dorset’s leading Alpine activity centre launch a spectacular Pirate Ship set within their growing Alpine Adventure Park.

On the 8th of April 2017, Snowtrax, usually known for being the ‘go to’ location for all things alpine, opened an extravagant Pirate Ship to the public!


The huge vessel is situated within the centre's Alpine Adventure park to the rear of the businesses complex in Christchurch, on an island in the centre of a real lake.


Purpose built over the last year, the Pirate ship features an extensive range of levels and decks as well as a fireman’s pole, canons, real helm and a huge spiral slide at the rear! Recommended for children over the age of 5, Snowtrax are certain more than a few parents will be making a bee line for the attraction over the coming weeks!


Activities Director, Adam Halstead said “We were really excited to invite everyone to come and see our Pirate Ship and to see all the happy customers on launch day was fantastic! With over a year's worth of building, from scratch, the ship's a real sight to behold! Our building team worked hard to create something really unique and exciting for our customers to experience, to say they’ve achieved this would be an understatement!”. He went on to say, “With our genuinely unique activity offerings, which include a 100+ metre ski slope, Ringos, Ski Bobs and Alpine Adventure Park, we’re really excited to welcome even more visitors to the Pirate ship over the summer season ahead! Arrrhhhh!”


Open from 10 - dusk 7 days a week – it’s the perfect pirate getaway for any family looking for something very different to do! Call 01202 499155



4 million motivated Brits get set for Healthy Eating Week 2017

Healthy Eating Week is back, and it is bigger than ever. More than 7,900 nurseries and schools have already registered to take part, representing over 3.7 million children. Organised by the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), the fifth annual Healthy Eating Week will take place from 12 – 16 June 2017.

Roy Ballam, Managing Director and Head of Education at the BNF, said: “Each year Healthy Eating Week continues to grow. With the importance of a good diet and regular physical activity increasingly prominent, adults and children alike are keen to increase their knowledge on how to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

The theme for Healthy Eating Week this year is ‘applied learning’. The idea is to encourage school children to take ownership of their own health by becoming their school’s ‘Ambassadors’ for the week – flying the healthy eating flag and motivating their peers.

Schools can download Ambassador Packs, to encourage applications for the Ambassador roles. To support the week of activities, all participants will also receive a board game, posters, and activity ideas, and a series of daily challenges. This year’s challenges include: Have breakfast, 5 A DAY, drink plenty, get active and try something new. There will also be health webinars and online cooking activities.

For more information about BNF Healthy Eating Week 2017 and to register your school, visit:


Danny Gets Walking for Charity Dorset 3 Peaks Challenge

Danny Roberts, 37 from Shaftsbury, is taking on the Dorset 3 Peaks Challenge in aid of local charity Diverse Abilities on Saturday 15 July.

The 12-hour trek will see Danny and fellow participants walking a marathon distance of 26.2 miles along the famous Wessex Ridgeway, taking in the three highest peaks in the county - Lewesdon Hill, Pilsdon Pen and Bulbarrow Hill. The hike, is raising funds for Diverse Abilities, the Dorset charity that supports children and adults living with disabilities. Registration for the event is £50. Diverse Abilities is currently offering local businesses that book a group of 10, one free place, plus is offering individuals a 241 offer where if one person signs up, a friend can enter for free. Enter code: DIVERSE241 when booking. Minimum sponsorship is £295 per person. For further information call 01202 718266 or visit


Get totally wiped out for charity 

Diverse Abilities, Dorset’s disability charity, is looking forward to holding a fun and frantic obstacle course challenge event in Weymouth and Wimborne this summer. Weymouth will see Totally Wiped Out at Lodmoor Country Park on July 1 and then it will be located in Canford School’s grounds on July 2.

The Totally Wiped Out course is designed to test the determination of all who attempt the challenge and Diverse Abilities is inviting participants to brave the challenge to raise funds for children and adults living with disabilities in the county.

Based on TV gameshows like Wipe Out, It’s a Knockout and Gladiators, Totally Wiped Out features a combination of inflatable and water-based sections where balance, flexibility and skill hold the key to success! A punch wall will try to knock challengers off a ledge, the inflatable balls will bounce unsteady participants in to the water and the sweeper arm will attempt to knock other from their podium!

For more information or to sign up, visit


Record number of visitors to Brewery Square over Easter weekend

Brewery Square in Dorchester welcomed a record number of visitors over Easter weekend with free Easter Egg Hunts and a visit from Mr. Bloom.

Visitors were up 29% over Easter weekend compared to last year’s figures. The majority of people came to the Square on Good Friday to watch Mr. Bloom’s performance.

Charlotte Spracklen, centre manager at Brewery Square, commented: “We were delighted to welcome Mr. Bloom to the Square on Good Friday. Hundreds of excited children gathered with their family, all eager to get their squiggle on.

For more information about Brewery Square, visit


Has your council banned balloon releases?

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is asking the public to pledge their support for a ban on balloon releases in their local area after volunteers found an increase of over 50% in the amount of balloon litter on UK beaches between 2015 and 2016.

The plight of a three-year-old horse that died after choking on a balloon string was featured on BBC Breakfast recently, and has once again highlighted the terrible consequences of balloon litter on land. But on beaches and in the sea, balloons, strings, lanterns and frames can have long-lasting effects both as choking and entanglement hazards. 

During the MCS Great British Beach Clean event last September, volunteer beach cleaners found an astonishing rise in the amount of balloon related litter on UK beaches – a 53.5% increase on 2015. The charity says it’s taking its ‘Don’t Let Go’ campaign to a local level to persuade more councils to ban the release of both balloons and sky lanterns on their land.

To pledge your support for a local ban on balloon and lantern releases in your council area visit -


Lighthouse launches ground-breaking schools’ partnership programme
Eight local schools have been selected to become official partner schools in a groundbreaking new programme set to launch in April at Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts. The partnership, which sees each school committing to bring students to see live performance at Lighthouse and to becoming champions for the arts within their communities, marks the realisation of a long-held ambition for the UK’s largest regional arts centre.

As the programme develops partner schools will be invited to see backstage and behind the scenes at Lighthouse, get priority access to outreach workshops, receive careers talks from Lighthouse staff and access a range of additional exciting opportunities. The successful schools are St Aldhelm’s Academy (Poole), Lytchett Minster School (Dorset), Avonbourne/Harewood Colleges (Bournemouth), Queen Elizabeth’s School (Wimborne), Carter Community School (Poole), Oakdale Junior School (Poole), and Winchelsea School (Poole). The partnerships will be reviewed after a year.

The eight partnership schools will be officially welcomed into the programme at a reception at Lighthouse on 6 April, when teachers will have the opportunity to see the UK’s hottest young acrobats Barely Methodical Troupe performing their new show, Kin. For further information visit


New Library for Kingsleigh Primary School

Kingsleigh Primary School in Bournemouth have celebrated World Book Day in style, with the opening of their revamped school library. Helped by children’s TV character ‘Horrid Henry’, the two youngest and the two oldest pupils in the school assisted Head teacher Richard Gower in cutting the red ribbon to the new facility.

The revamp project was the brainchild of Assistant Head Teacher Holly Graff, who initially applied for a grant for books from Foyles. Spurred on by this, the school then rallied together to raise a further £10,000 via sponsored events and the PTA. New furniture, including tables, chairs and comfy seats, have created a fantastic new area for the children to enjoy, along with all the new books.

In addition to the main library, Kingsleigh have also created two more reading areas for their KS1 and KS2 children, again with new furniture and books.

The school is very proud of its approach to reading and literacy and sees the new library as an important space for children to develop. Holly Graff comments:

We are committed to promoting reading and literacy at Kingsleigh and we really wanted somewhere that matched our ambitions for all our children. This new library can now offer pupils a fabulous opportunity to just come and read. Seeing the children’s faces this morning when they first came in was brilliant.” 

Richard Gower, Head Teacher at Kingsleigh is thrilled with the new library, and comments:

So much hard work has gone into this project and to see it come to fruition, and the brilliant resource we now have, really does make all the effort worthwhile. Everyone, from the staff to the children and their parents, has helped to raise the money and we now look forward to them all enjoying this wonderful facility. At a time when many schools are having to close their libraries we are so proud to be able to open our new one.

Kingsleigh are also looking at the possibility of being able to open the Library during school holidays to the local community, so that children can come and borrow books out of term time.


Dorset Scrapstore celebrates business success at The Factory 

Dorset Scrapstore is celebrating its first eight months of business at The Factory, its new location on Alder Hills in Poole. Dorset Scrapstore is a local charity that believes in a world where manufacturing waste doesn’t go to landfill but instead becomes a low-cost community resource for crafting and creativity.

The Scrapstore provides an ever-changing supply of clean, safe and often random making materials which have been kindly donated by local businesses.

The Dorset Scrapstore is now open from Tuesday to Friday from 11am – 5pm with extended hours until 7pm on Wednesday and Thursday. For information email or call 07932 325193.


RHS School Gardeners of the Year 2017 

Applications are now open for the RHS School Gardeners of the Year 2017. There are three categories – Young School Gardener of the Year, School Gardening Champion of the Year and School Gardening Team of the Year. The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 28 April 2017. For details visit


Progress with Wessex Home Tuition

It’s half way through the academic year already! During this important term children make the most progress, building on what they have already learnt and discovering all kinds of new exciting topics. Keep their excitement and confidence going with support from a Tutor from Wessex Home Tuition. Understanding will be improved and progress developed with increased enjoyment and success. Visit and complete your details on the ‘Contact Us’ page to make arrangements for a Tutor to contact you.

Confidence is Key at the Poole Kumon Study Centre

The Poole Kumon Study Centre offers individualised, after-school maths and English study programmes, ensuring that your child studies at exactly the right level for their ability and giving them the confidence to realise their full potential. The Poole Kumon Study Centre is at Buckholme Towers School in Ashley Cross, and runs classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. For more information, contact Alex Gorringe on 01202 248302 or email


Dorset Police Cyber-Crime Prevention Officer, Jake Moore writes:

Keep your child safe online and get their smartphone, tablet or gadget ready by:

  • Adding virus protection
  • Using safe search settings and tightening privacy settings on apps
  • Subscribing to your internet service provider’s broadband parental controls
  • Consider using parental controls on devices

Also, spend some time reminding them:

  • The people they speak to online may not be who they think they are
  • Never give out personal details online
  • Be careful who they add to their friends lists
  • Never send images to people they don’t know or that they wouldn’t want others to see

Get switched on to your child’s online world. Ask yourself: Do you know what your child is looking at? Who are they talking to? How long are they spending online? These are all questions that parents and carers should be asking on a regular basis.

To help keep your children safe online make sure you:

  • Talk to your children about what they do and use online
  • Allow access to the internet only from devices within the family space

If you ever have any concerns that a child is being groomed, exploited or abused, or if you suspect anyone is inappropriately contacting children online, report it immediately to the police via, alternatively call 101, or call 999 in an emergency.

To find out how to keep your children safe online visit the Dorset Police website: