Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

For the Health of the Planet

M&S Cheshire Oaks store opened in 2012
M&S Cheshire Oaks Store

M&S Cheshire Oaks was opened in August 2012 by M&S Chief Executive Marc Bolland and Plan A Ambassador Joanna Lumley. It's the largest M&S store outside of London, and took three years and 550,000 man-hours to build. It's the greenest ever M&S store and around 60% of the eco features used in the building will become standard across M&S stores in future. 

Photo montage showing Building of M&S Cheshire Oaks Store
Building of M&S Cheshire Oaks Store

The store is constructed of Glulam beams that are light and flexible, but use one fifth less energy to make than is needed to produce a steel beam. All wood used in the building is Forestry Stewardship Council approved. The roof insulation is made from 100% recycled bottles, the roof is 100% recycled aluminium and the internal walls are made from 100% recycled board. 55,000 tons of soil were recycled when the site was prepared.

M&S Shopping Kiosk at the new Cheshire Oaks store
M&S Shopping Kiosk at Cheshire Oaks

Bird boxes are built into the walls, and the car park is screened by a green wall providing habitats for wildlife. Landscaping around the store is designed to support and develop habitats for local wildlife. 228 new trees were planted and external walls are made from hemp.

Food display in the new M&S Cheshire Oaks store
M&S Cheshire Oaks Store


Ambassador - representative, agent, spokesperson
Biodiversity - the health of the ecology
Sustainability - the ability to support and maintain
'Eco' (Ecology) - the relationship between living things and the environment
Insulation - Lining or padding usually used to keep in heat.
Hemp - Hemp is a plant that can be made into products including rope, cloth, pulp and fuel