Helping Motorway Service Provider
Move Towards Environmental Goals




improved understanding of environmental protection


increased their pride in their local area


improved their self-belief and confidence


Extra MSA, based in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, is the UK’s fourth largest provider of motorway service stations. The company operates 10 sites in England, mainly on primary routes, from Leeds in Yorkshire to Cullompton in Devon.

We had previously worked with Extra when it was planning the 60-acre Skelton Lake Services, on the M1, just outside Leeds, which opened in March 2020. Then, we designed and delivered a community engagement programme that helped local young people develop employability skills and gain a better understanding of career pathways into the built environment sector. Our project also helped the young people understand the environmental impact of construction in their area and influence elements of the development, through their input and feedback.



We designed an initiative that involved year four students, aged eight and nine, from a local primary school, visiting Extra’s headquarters site, to suggest achievable ideas that would contribute towards the company’s environmental sustainability aims.

We needed to target and engage a school which had demonstrated a meaningful commitment to, and interest in, enhancing ecology and the environment. We chose Butler’s Court Primary School, in Beaconsfield, for reasons including that the institution runs its own Eco Council.

Once the school had agreed to participate, we arranged for a total of 60 year four students to visit Extra’s site, in two batches. There, they:

  • Undertook an ecology tour
  • Proposed usable improvements that would enhance biodiversity at the site. These ranged from an aquatic planting plan with a duck house to bug hotels…one to be called Bugingham Palace in Buginghamshire!

In addition to Ahead Partnership staff, the visits were attended by a volunteer ecologist from Wardell Armstrong, the Stoke-on-Trent based environmental, engineering and mining consultancy, which advises Extra MSA.

The children had a great time [during their visits] and all the materials were well thought-out and organised

Volunteer ecologist, Wardell Armstrong

I enjoyed designing our own bug hotel and learning about habitats

Year 4 Pupil, Butlers Court Primary School

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