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YHA Blossoms in Forest

Monday, 10th December 2007

YHA Blossoms in Forest

YHA is ready to welcome the first guests to its brand new £1.78million Youth Hostel in the East Midlands.

The ultra-modern YHA National Forest – next to Conkers Discovery Centre in the heart of The National Forest - is packed with eco-friendly features and offers more than 70 beds, which will be available for the first time on Friday December 14.

"This is a very exciting time for YHA, especially as it marks the culmination of five years of planning and hard work," says YHA Sales and Marketing Director Alan Hopley.

"The result is a fantastic new facility that will cater perfectly for school groups and families who are looking to visit Conkers and the many other attractions in this area."

YHA National Forest is in Moira, close to the Leicestershire and Derbyshire borders and is the culmination of a major fundraising effort.

The push resulted in awards from a number of bodies, including substantial donations from East Midlands Development Agency (emda) and Leicester Shire Economic Partnership.

Clive Keble, Chief Officer Land & Project Development at the National Forest Company added: "The welcoming of the first guests in the new hostel will be a very significant occasion for the National Forest Company.

"This great new facility fulfils our objectives of providing high quality overnight accommodation, welcoming groups to the Forest and showing how the use of timber in construction and wood for heat are both sustainable and practical.

"We look forward to the hostel being full to bursting point next summer."

'Green' features at YHA National Forest include:

  • A wood-fuelled boiler, using sustainable wood chips sourced locally in the Forest.
  • Water heated by solar panels.
  • Roof overhangs creating pleasant shaded veranda spaces, and preventing overheating through the windows.
  • Internal shutters that insulate against extremes of heat and cold.
  • Vents at the top of the building providing in-built ventilation and removing any need for air-conditioning.
  • Underground tanks holding rain captured for 'greywater use' ie flushing the loos.
  • Spray taps and showers, not baths, to reduce water consumption.

YHA National Forest is built on land owned by the Heart of the Forest Foundation which also led the construction project. Building work started last winter, and was carried out by GF Tomlinson Group of Derby, and Leicestershire County Council.

The accommodation is built to a VisitBritain four-star standard and comes in 23 two, three and four-bedded, en suite rooms.

There is also has a coffee bar, games room, bar and restaurant serving freshly-cooked local food.

Additional funding for the hostel and other developments on site has come from Leicestershire County Council, North West Leicestershire District Council, Clear Skies, Waste Recycling Environmental Limited (WREN), YHA, the National Forest Company and charitable donations.

Accommodation rates range from £14.95 per person per night or from £11.50 for under 18s.