green holidays made easier
Wetherdown Hostel is situated on top of theSouth Downsand just a few steps from the South Downs Way National Trail. Once a Royal Navy building, it is three miles from the picturesque village of East Meon on a 55-acre site called the Sustainability Centre, an environmental visitor and conference venue which promotes, demonstrates and teaches green living and sustainable technologies.
The hostel provides accommodation for walkers, cyclists and visitors to the Centre. It has a capacity of 36 in 14 rooms (3 twins/bunks, 10 triples single and bunk) with wash basins. Five of the rooms are wheelchair-friendly. All bed linen, duvets and towels are included as is a ‘help yourself’ breakfast.
There are spacious communal areas and guests can also use a self-catering kitchen, and a barbecue and campfire area is available to hire. There is off-road, parking, secure cycle storage and drying rooms and a small camping field.
The Sustainability Centre has a wide range of habitats which are being carefully maintained and restored to increase biodiversity.
Described as an eco-hostel, Wetherdown has been refurbished using sustainable building materials by the Earthworks Trust and it shares its site with other green businesses.
It incorporates sustainable energy features including a biomass boiler to provide heat and hot water. Tours of the boiler are available. There are 50 photovoltaic panels on the roof to produce electricity. These are felt to be more sophisticated than many systems, as they are designed to replace standard roofing tiles and are visually non-intrusive. There is also a modern solar water heating system mounted on the roof of the Visitor Centre.
Energy efficiency is also a major feature: the windows are triple glazed, sheep’s wool provides biodegradable insulation in the roof and there are low energy lights everywhere.
The hostel has been awarded Gold by the Green Tourism Business Scheme.