A sip of Schiehallion
Ben Lomond Gin has unveiled a limited-edition gin as the first release in its Explorer Series, launched to support the conservation, protection and restoration of our wild places.
As supporters of the Trust for a number of years, the team at Ben Lomond Gin was interested in partnering on a dedicated project to give back to wild places, drawing inspiration from the work of John Muir as well as the Trust’s protection and care of wild places.
John Grieveson, Chief Marketing Officer of Ben Lomond Gin owner Loch Lomond Group, said: “Ben Lomond Gin was inspired by the natural beauty of Ben Lomond and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, which exists today due to the effort of ‘father of national parks’ John Muir. We’re delighted to launch our Explorer Series in collaboration with the Trust established in his name.”
To begin this exciting project, the Trust’s land team at Schiehallion supplied a list of local botanicals that embodied the sense of the land to the team at Ben Lomond Gin. This then led to a series of taste trials using different combinations of the various ingredients before the best cocktail of flavours to represent the sense of Schiehallion was decided upon. The botanicals that were chosen for this perfect serve included birch leaves, bilberry and wild thyme:
- Birch leaves represent the native species of woodland trees which are planted through the regeneration work that the Trust is carrying out to restore this important habitat on Schiehallion.
- Bilberry bushes are found in the moorland along the base of the Munro, often hidden in the dense heather, and are said to have protective qualities in Scottish folklore.
- Wild thyme has had a long association with humans throughout history with many uses from scenting clothes to flavouring tea, making it the perfect ingredient to showcase the relationship between nature and people.
The aim of this project is to inspire others to leave their comfort zones and find their adventurous spirit, while supporting continued adventure by protecting wild places and giving back to where we've taken from.
Every purchase of Schiehallion Gin directly contributes to our Wild Woods Appeal. Woodlands play an essential role in providing clean air, carbon storage and soil retention, as well as providing important habits for many threatened species. As such, this appeal is putting a spotlight on the importance of expanding and restoring native woodlands across the wild places in our care, in particular increasing the populations of Scots pine, rowan and birch – an essential botanical of this limited edition gin.
Tom Corke, the Trust's East Schiehallion Manager, said: “Five thousand years ago, as much as 60 per cent of the UK was covered with trees but centuries of loss caused by human and animal impact, the spread of invasive species, and climate change means that today, native woodland covers just four per cent of the country.”