The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) is marking a quarter of a century as custodian of an important natural site with the creation of its own gin.
Pinewood Gin pays homage to the pine forests at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, which NTS has spent 25 years protecting and restoring. It was the brainchild of Shaila Rao, ecologist at the Mar Lodge Estate, the UK’s largest nature reserve, where the conservation work has been focused.
Made with botanicals hand-foraged from the estate’s pinewoods, including juniper, pine needles, birch leaves, bog myrtle, wood sorrel and blaeberries (bilberries), the gin has been distilled in partnership with Glenshee Craft Distillers, based close to the estate near Braemar.
Shaila Rao said: “Simon Fairclough, the managing director at Glenshee Craft Distillers, is incredibly supportive of the work at Mar Lodge to protect our unique pinewood and has helped us through the whole development of the gin.
“Creating this gin seemed like a fitting way to mark the 25th anniversary of the trust taking on the care and protection of Mar Lodge. In the past few decades, we’ve seen the landscape here recover from centuries of decline from timber exploitation, climate change and high grazing levels preventing regeneration and the Mar Lodge Estate pinewoods are being reborn.
“We were inspired by this progress to create the Pinewood Gin which is literally flavoured by this place, plus every bottle sold supports our efforts to protect the Caledonian pinewoods of Mar Lodge Estate and restore them to their former glory.”
Pinewood Gin is available to buy at the National Trust for Scotland online shop and will soon be available at selected trust retail outlets at Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, Inverewe, Glencoe Visitor Centre, Crathes Castle and Culzean Castle and Country Park.