REPLICA World War One trenches dug for this year’s Great Dorset Steam Fair are to remain on display until 2018, to coincide with the four-year centenary of the conflict.

The 150ft long and 6ft deep trenches were built on the show’s site at Tarrant Hinton to replicate those on the Western Front in France 100 years ago.

It is hoped the front line and support trenches will provide an educational experience for schools.

Managing director of the fair, Martin Oliver, said this year’s exhibitors who participated in the WW1 display agreed the trenches were the “best replica system they had ever seen”.

He said: “We have made the decision to keep the trenches until at least 2018 because it seems an appropriate tribute to those who lost their lives in The First World War.

“Furthermore, between now and the 2015 show, we would like to encourage local schools to contact us and arrange visits so that we can share this experience with them free of charge.”

Although the trenches were dug out using modern machinery, every other aspect of them is authentic. Like those on the Western Front in WW1, they are in a zigzag formation with duck-boarding to walk on, tin and wooden panelling on the sides and sandbags lining the top edge.

The Great Dorset Steam Fair site is based on a working farm and land owner, Robin Hooper, has given his full support for leaving the replica trenches in place.

Mr Oliver said: “Robin is very proud to give up part of his farm for four years to enable the trenches to remain in place and I would like to thank him for all his help and cooperation.”

Bema Cross Demolition supplied the machinery for digging out the trenches.

To request a visit for schools email