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Heritage plants find new homes ahead of Saxon Court redevelopment work

MORE THAN 1,500 heritage plants have been found new homes as the redevelopment of the former Milton Keynes Council offices at Saxon Court in Central Milton Keynes begins.

Mixed-use developer Socius has been running a lengthy initiative to rehome the collection of flora that was a focal point in Saxon Court’s vast atrium.

Plants ranging from a five-metre high crane flower to smaller shrubs have been adopted by individuals, companies and charities across the city. Many of the plants are over 40 years old and Socius was keen to protect and secure the future of the important legacy plants.

Many were handed over before the redevelopment work started. Socius worked with Milton Keynes City Council and biophilic design specialist Tiny Jungle to ensure the move gave each plant the best chance of survival in their new locations.

Some of the plants have been taken in by staff at Willen Hospice.

“This project has been two and a half years in the making,” says Tiny Jungle founder Sean Clegg main picture. “The appetite from local people has been amazing. We originally had 1,500 plants and, after several successful workshops with the public and schools, we were down to the last few.”

Now they have found a home at Canal St Coffee, a new coffee shop that has opened at Campbell Wharf. “Why wouldn’t we want to save them?” says coffee shop founder Mike Verwoert, who also runs the Doe and Fawn Coffee Roastery. “This is an opportunity to rehome some key parts of Milton Keynes’ green history, and we think these plants will fit in very well at our canal side location.”

Socius says that moving the plants has prevented tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. “We are so proud to have rehomed all of these vitally important legacy plants for Milton Keynes,” says Socius director Steve Eccles. “We would like to say thank you to everyone who stepped forward to make that happen.”

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