In another innovative first for the town, Witney Town Council has installed a sedum roofed shelter as the long awaited replacement for a damaged shelter that had been removed, in Burwell Drive. The new living roof, vandal-proof shelter is the first of its kind in the whole of Oxfordshire.

The bus stop in Burwell is well used and busy and the shelter had been sorely missed, so the replacement is very welcome.

The upper panels of the shelter are ‘vandal-proof’ and perforated to allow good all round visibility.

The shelter has a living roof planted with sedums. This provides a wide range of benefits to the urban environment. It absorbs rainwater, reduces stormflow, captures dust and pollutants from the air – and regulates temperatures.

Adding plants in urban spaces has plenty of other benefits, including: reducing noise pollution, reducing stress, increasing biodiversity, beautifying the local environment, absorbing carbon, and improving air quality. It’s also a safe haven for bees and other insects.

Plus of course, it’s a rather lovely surprise when spotted from the top deck as a bus pulls up alongside.

The decision to include a living roof for the new shelter is in keeping with Witney Town Council’s commitment to finding more sustainable solutions, and meeting its climate emergency objectives.

Cllr Ruth Smith, Witney Town Councillor for the Central ward and Chair of Climate, Biodiversity & Planning, said,

“We are delighted to be able to provide this innovative bus shelter. Residents have rightly asked for a replacement. The Town Council fully supports bus travel – it’s greener than individual cars and is essential for all who don’t drive.

 The green roof adds a little waypoint on insect corridors and biodiversity beyond grass, because it’s sedum plants.

 We trust that this shelter will be treated respectfully. Let’s all talk about its usefulness so that even those tempted to vandalise it hear and think again.”

Cllrs Owen Collins and Ruth Smith in the new Living Roof Shelter
Cllrs Owen Collins and Ruth Smith in the new Living Roof Shelter