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Last Updated: Monday, 24 September 2007, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
Threatened youth hostel is saved
Dolgoch hostel (picture: Elenydd Wilderness Hostels' Trust)
Dolgoch is the second hostel the trust has saved
A charitable trust set up to safeguard three youth hostels threatened with closure in the Cambrian Mountains has saved its second remote walkers' haven.

The Elenydd Wilderness Hostels' Trust launched a campaign to buy Dolgoch, Blaencaron and Tyncornel hostels near Tregaron, Ceredigion, in May last year.

Three months later two ramblers from Cardiff came to the trust's aid and mortgaged their homes to buy Tyncornel.

Thanks to private and charitable funds, the trust has now bought Dolgoch.

However, nearby Blaencaron has been bought privately, but it is thought that it will be turned into bed and breakfast accommodation.

The Youth Hostel Association (YHA) announced it was selling 32 of its UK sites last year. It was claimed that the three Ceredigion hostels were failing to attract enough visitors.

Dolgoch hostel (picture: Elenydd Wilderness Trust)
A wild and beautiful place, the silence broken only by the bleating of sheep or the occasional call of a bird
Elenydd Wilderness Hostels' Trust

But the Elenydd trust said the three - known as bunk houses - typified what hostelling was all about.

It said Dolgoch, purchased for 125,000, was in "a wild and beautiful place, the silence broken only by the bleating of sheep or the occasional call of a bird".

"We received very significant and generous donations of 4,000, 5,000 and 6,000 from individuals and additional money from charities," said trust treasurer Colin Francis.

"We've paid the deposit on Dolgoch and the completion date will be at the end of October."

Mike Mills, rights of way officer for The Ramblers Wales, said: "The problem of walking in remote places is finding accommodation if you're not camping, so we welcome this initiative."

Tyncornel hostel was bought for 125,000 by two ramblers from Cardiff who mortgaged their homes. They have leased the hostel back to the trust for five years.

Nearly one in seven youth hostels in England and Wales is set to shut to help fund a revamp of the remaining properties, the YHA announced in January last year.

It plans to invest 18m in some 200 remaining hostels to upgrade facilities and make them more attractive to visitors.




SEE ALSO
Pair mortgage homes to buy hostel
05 Aug 06 |  Mid Wales
AMs unite against hostel closure
26 Apr 06 |  North East Wales
Low visitors mark end for hostel
12 Dec 05 |  Cumbria

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