M&S Cheshire Oaks Store - Biodiversity
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 film above.
Strikingly, we’ve installed our largest and most varied ‘green wall’ at Cheshire Oaks – 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 walls cover 300m2 in total and contains 30 species of plants – all selected by ecological recommendation – which are watered automatically through a rain water harvesting system.
We have delivered a net increase in biodiversity on the site through the following initiatives:
- As well as protecting two mature oak trees on site, we planted 228 new trees - potentially absorbing some 800 tonnes of CO2 by the time they reach maturity.
- We carried out significant pre-construction ecological works, including searching for bats and nesting birds, and surveys for water voles.
- Enhancements were made to the swale and wild flower planting to encourage flora, insects and amphibians to the area.
- 9 swift boxes were installed in concealed locations on the building and a further 6 bird boxes were added in perimeter hedgerows. We also installed over 20 bird and bat boxes off site at local primary schools.
- Our Gabion walls located in the swale, around the building and in the service yard were constructed free from mortar and cement and are full of crevices that make perfect homes for a variety of insects and plants.
- Insect houses were made from our FSC timber hoardings and log piles and are a great addition to our wild garden area.
Two years on, we have achieved external recognition for our management of Biodiversity through the achievement of the Wildlife Trust Biodiversity Benchmark. Here we are forming partnerships with local biodiversity interested parties and putting in place targets and processes to ensure the continued protection and promotion of biodiversity at Cheshire Oaks:
- We have now got 88 individual plant species on site such as white willow and wild cherry.
- There have been sightings of 17 different bird species at the site including sparrows, pigeons, finches and starlings.