New Motorway Services Crowned by Innovative Wildflower Roof

Following its opening in March of this year, Leeds Skelton Lake Services is seamlessly blending into its lakeside environment thanks to a ‘living roof’ supplied by UK wildflower experts, Wildflower Turf Ltd.

Located on the M1, the opening of the £64M Motorway Service Area (MSA) was timely, providing an essential service to hauliers and key workers at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sympathetically designed, the main building comprises a 100-bed Hotel and Food Court topped by an impressive and eye-catching wildflower meadow.

Of particular importance during the design phase of this striking feature was a requirement to ensure that the wildflower meadow would conform to planning regulations, while also assisting the building to blend into the existing landscape.

The undulating roof is soil-less, and the green roof consists of a bespoke blend of 41 native UK wildflower species. Wildflower Turf Ltd also supplied their own substrate in order to ensure speed of growth and the roof vegetation has thrived as a result.

As well as providing a biodiverse home for bees and other invertebrate species, the roof meadow plays an important role in the site’s overall sustainable drainage strategy by absorbing rainwater and minimising surface water run-off.

The green roof will also help to significantly reduce carbon emissions from the amenity building, with any heat generated drawn into the cool roof construction and then dissipated to the environment. Furthermore, the wildflower meadow will assist in absorbing and reducing low frequency sounds from the nearby motorway.

Throughout the course of the project, Wildflower Turf Ltd worked closely with the Landscape Architect, Smeeden Foreman, Wetherby-based Brambledown Landscapes Ltd, and installers ABG Ltd to deliver a show-stopping design that also exists harmoniously with the natural landscape.

Managing Director of Wildflower Turf Ltd, James Hewetson-Brown, said, “This has been one of our most interesting and rewarding green roof projects to date. Despite numerous challenges thrown up by the weather and a unique installation brief we enjoyed working with our clients, providing ongoing advice during installation and after Leeds Skelton Lakes Services opened. It’s been gratifying to see that our products have helped to deliver an exceptional result.”