During these cold winter months on long journeys, there is no better way to break up the travel time than stopping for a warm hot chocolate at Cobham Services.
Cobham Services is located on the M25 London Orbital Motorway between Junctions 9 and 10, situated for easy access to both Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. It is a modern and comfortable place to stop for a hotel rest, some fresh air, a bite to eat and fuel. Consisting of 4,620 spaces for parking cars, caravans, and coaches, this hard-paving area was a prime opportunity to include green infrastructure. Overall, the project was deemed an ‘EXTRA’ motorway service awarded a 4-star rating, providing a high level of execution throughout the development.
Built on a green belt of land that was once named New Barn Farm, many planning officers had their doubts about the development. The ecological benefits the site planned to provide counteracted the potential concerns and allowed the site to implement sustainable drainage systems, rain harnessing solutions and produce renewable energy.
GreenBlue Urban was approached by Gintare Miklusyte who worked at The Landscape Partnership requesting our assistance with the planning stages of the scheme. Gintare’s vision would break up the area of grey infrastructure, allowing greenery to become a calming influence for drivers when stopping at the services.
In collaboration with the Environmental Agency, the sustainable drainage system the trees on this site allow for through GreenBlue load-bearing StrataCell Soil Cells, enables the water to attenuate through the tree pit cleaning any silt and sand from the water. The Stratacell’s open skeletal structure provides an enormous growth zone for delicate root systems and for stormwater harvesting. The SUDS network outfalls at limited flow rate into a nearby watercourse, mitigating flood risks in the locality and downstream.
The tree planting was Installed in 2012 by BAM and an opening ceremony was held in the October of the same year. Cobham Services has since been referred to as the ‘RITZ’ of service stations by Northgate Vehicle Hire scoring 97% on customer satisfactory feedback.
GreenBlue Urban strive to ensure locations such as Cobham services have a multifunctional purpose to the public and have introduced the ArborCharge. The ArborCharge system combines electric car charging points with GreenBlue’s Arborsystem & Arborflow solutions, creating the ultimate tree pit system.
Not only does the highway code recommend you take a break whilst driving, GreenBlue also encourages you to stop at Cobham services and admire the SUDS features these trees offer to the area.