Waitrose Supermarket

Location: Droitwich, Worcestershire

The Waitrose Store in Droitwich Spa, which has now been open for almost a decade, is a fine example of initial investment in car park tree planting really paying off.

Retailers benefit from brand-building activities, including increasingly attractive shopping environments, encouraging greater numbers of visitors and inferring a premium on product prices.

Much more emphasis is being placed on improving the long-term success rate of trees in retail car parks. Large mature trees are particularly effective in regulating the microclimate, attenuating and filtering water, attenuating noise, improving air quality and sequestering carbon.

The tree pit detail, which was designed by Comprehensive Design Architects (CDA) with technical assistance from GreenBlue Urban, includes structural soil modules, which provide additional rooting volume underneath the adjacent hard paving. The roots are guided to this slightly deeper profile with the use of a RootDirector. Deeper roots will prevent any risk of root damage to adjacent hard surfaces and increase drought tolerance and tree stability in high winds.

The designer’s choice of Acer Plananoides (Maple) and Platanus Hispanica (London Plane) trees works particularly well in this situation by providing plenty of visual impact, shade and wind speed reduction. The positioning of the trees in the well-used ‘diamond’ orientation in relation to the car parking bays also maximizes the number of car parking spaces available.