The Cairngorm National Park in Scotland is home to a host of diverse wildlife, but is perhaps best known for supporting a large part of the remnant Caledonian pinewood. Mar Lodge Estate, a 30,000ha estate within the Cairngorms National Park, is managed by The National Trust for Scotland (NTS), for whom the pinewood is of particular importance: as an iconic part of the Scottish Highlands, not only are these trees culturally important, but they also support a host of other wildlife including pine marten, red squirrel and twinflower.
However, due to the historic heavy grazing and timber clearance, these trees are under threat, and in order to ensure the important restoration and expansion of the pinewood, the NTS has come up with a creative way to raise funds: they have partnered with a local distillery, Glenshee Craft Distillers (the producers of Persie Gin), to produce Pinewood Conservation Gin, a gin inspired by the pinewoods. All proceeds from the sales of the gin go back to the Mar Lodge Estate, located within Cairngorm, to protect and support the growth of the pinewood.
Not only are the proceeds from the gin going to support the trees, but the botanicals the gin is flavoured with come from the Mar Lodge pinewoods themselves, hand-picked by NTS staff. There are huge numbers of usable plants on the Estate, including juniper, and this has given the NTS the opportunity to make an exciting new product that simultaneously reflects its namesake. The gin itself has been described as herbaceous and savoury, with a warming sweetness.
It is available to buy from the NTS shop or here, and by purchasing the gin, you are supporting the Caledonian pinewoods of Scotland. It will also be available in Trust shops in Scotland, and the NTS hopes to extend sales to businesses across the Cairngorms and further afield over the year.