A DORSET company has broken a world record by creating the largest hedge maze on the planet.

The maze, in Ningbo, China, was created by Adrian Fisher Design Ltd of Durweston in North Dorset.

The Maze of the Butterfly Lovers set two records – as the largest hedge maze by area (covering 33,565sqm) and the maze with the greatest length of paths (8,375metres).

Staff from Guinness World Records were at the opening ceremony to present an official certificate.

The maze was inspired by the famous Chinese story of the butterfly lovers. Inside the maze, which traces the shape of two butterflies, visitors come across aspects of the story.

Paths cross over and under each other using a dozen towers, bridges and underpasses. The highlight is the central tower, with twin spiral staircases.

Adrian Fisher, who designed the maze, said: “We all love mazes, from our earliest exploration of what is out of sight, to the fun of solving puzzles.

“Mazes are one of the finest ways of sharing an adventure together, making choices, and discovering things we never imagined.”

Mr Fisher was born in Bournemouth and grew up in Throop House, where he created his first hedge maze in the garden.

His father James Fisher was a doctor in Moordown for 40 years and the James Fisher Medical Centre is named after him.

His company, Adrian Fisher Design Ltd, has been creating mazes since 1979 and has been based in Durweston, near Blandford, for 15 years.

It describes itself as the world's leading innovator and creator of mazes of all kinds.

It has created 42 hedge mazes around the world, including those at Blenheim Palace, Leeds Castle and Scone Palace in the UK and the Chateau de Thoiry in France.

Mr Fisher has also created 58 mirror mazes across 17 countries, including two in China.

The company is currently installing a project at the Singapore Science Centre.