smart car favourite: the greenest service station

If you love driving your smart car on the open road, you’ll love this eco-excellent motorway adventure.

Thanks to some pretty smart thinking by the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside, a large stretch of the great outdoors has been turned into a fantastic combination of green service station and nature reserve.

It makes perfect sense really, after all, what better way to get rid of the stresses and strains of motorway travel than a stretch of the legs at this 261-acre site, complete with all manner of wonderfully ecological features?

Called Brockholes Nature Reserve, the newly-opened visitor attraction actually started out as a flooded gravel pit. Designed by Adam Kahn Architects, it includes an eye-catching gaggle of floating buildings which house the gift shop, food store and restaurant, and the project has already gained the highest possible BREAAM sustainability rating.

The director of the Wildlife Trust commented, “To start with, we were thinking in terms of a straightforward nature reserve to join the 45 or so that we already administer, but the fact that the motorway runs right past the site gave us the confidence to go for something bigger.”

The real beauty of this delightful floating eco-village is that the Wildlife Trust has carefully developed the site to ensure that the natural habitat is supported rather than spoilt, with its ancient woodland, hay meadow, wetlands and lakes a great breeding site for over 53 species of birds and heaps of fabulous wildlife. Added to that the fact that it has all been built using natural materials such as oak roofs, tree stump tiles and newspaper for insulation and you’ve got a service station that’s certainly in the smart car spirit.

That beats a soggy sandwich in a layby hands down!

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