Beer YHA garden will be sensational

Mike Ruiter (centre) with Jim Anderson, Tom King, Clair Anderson, gardener Tony Hicks and Anton Ashc

Mike Ruiter (centre) with Jim Anderson, Tom King, Clair Anderson, gardener Tony Hicks and Anton Ashcroft at Beer YHA - Credit: Archant

A Beer garden will be truly sensational when a volunteer effort makes it accessible for people with disabilities.

The YHA is establishing a ‘sense trail’ so those with limited vision or hearing can experience their surroundings to the full.

Four volunteers from East Devon and further afield are helping out manager Mike Ruiter and the rest of the staff to cut back the rebellious weeds and replace them with flora for all faculties.

“There will be colourful flowers for the partially sighted – we’re going to have a massive bed of daffodils for a real splash of yellow,” said Mike.

“We’ll have rustling grasses that make distinctive noises, a smell garden with things like rosemary and a tasting area with strawberries and herbs.”


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He said he hopes to get funding to have labels in Braille, and would also like tactile fossils to reflect Beer’s position on the Jurassic Coast.

The Dutch manager is excited at how quickly the garden is progressing now he’s got people helping out.

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The sense trail comes as part of a wider effort to have the hostel’s garden enjoyed by the whole community.

Mike said: “It will be a public park, open to everybody at any time, with no entrance fee.”

His volunteer drive has been aided by the YHA and the organisation’s deal with the Duke of Edinburgh award, and he is now pleased to have helping hands lined up for the next 56 weeks – but he’s always looking for more.

The YHA was last year awarded the prestigious Investors in People Gold Award, reflecting its commitment to aiding personal development.

To help out, call the hostel on 01297 20296.

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