How we design, procure and build our stores has a direct impact on the environment and its fragile ecosystems. As a responsible retailer, we recognise that we must protect and where possible enhance the environments in which we trade.
Biodiversity is essential in maintaining our quality of life and a healthy environment. The continuous decline of biodiversity has serious consequences and its protection and enhancement is essential if we are to achieve a sustainable future. At Cheshire Oaks, encouraging local biodiversity was key to our entire build process, informing the landscape design, the appearance of the store and even the translocation of the local Great Crested Newts!
To find out more about biodiversity around our Cheshire Oaks store, watch the below video:
Strikingly, weâ€™ve installed our largest and most varied â€˜green wallâ€™ at Cheshire Oaks â€“ covering the majority of the south elevation of the car park. Made up of two innovative systems, the green walls are not only visually impressive but it also helps protect the car park from the elements, trap particulates from car exhausts, give thermal and acoustic insulation and provide a natural habitat for birds and other wildlife. The living wall covers 300m2 in total and contains 30 species of plants â€“ all selected by ecological recommendation â€“ which are watered automatically through a rain water harvesting system.Â
We also ensured that Cheshire Oaks is a more biodiverse site that the original landscape by implementing the following measures:
-Â As well as protecting two mature oak trees on site, weâ€™ve planted 228 new trees â€“ potentially absorbing some 800 tonnes of CO2 by the time they reach maturity.
-Â We carried our significant pre-construction ecological works, including searching for bats and nesting birds, and surveys for water voles.
-Â Enhancements to the swale and wild flower planting will encourage flora, insects and amphibians to the area.
-Â 9 swift boxes have been installed in concealed locations on the building and a furtherÂ 6Â bird boxes have been added in perimeter hedgerows. Weâ€™ve also installed over 20 bird and bat boxes off site at local primary schools.
-Â Our Gabion walls located in the swale, around the building and in the service yard are free from mortar and cement and full of crevices that make perfect homes for a variety of insects and plants.
-Â Insect housesÂ made from our FSC timber hoardings and log piles are a great addition to our wild garden area.
Do you do anything to support biodiversity in your garden – such as planting wild flowers to encourage birds and bees? What do you think about our innovative green wall? Let us know by leaving a comment below…