Distillery embarks on "perfect partnership" with Wildlife Trust

A new gin is set to deliver a boost for Hertfordshire rivers.

Puddingstone Distillery has produced a gin using flowers from Himalayan balsam, which is being cleared by Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust volunteers as part of river conservation work. The plant, which ‘escaped’ from gardens into the countryside in the 1800s, smothers riverbanks and damages delicate river ecosystems.

The distillery will now use the pink flowers as a key ingredient in its new rosy tinted gin, and it plans to donate £2 from each bottle sold to the Wildlife Trust.

Hertfordshire is home to a number of globally rare chalk rivers and Himalayan balsam is a constant threat to the health of these rivers. David Johnson, Herts and Middlesex Living Rivers officer said: “It is a perfect partnership, the Himalayan balsam, which damages our riverbanks, is pulled and used to colour the gin, which in turn raised funds for us to continue further conservation work.”

Ben Marston, director at Puddingstone Distillery, said: "Our new gin is not only reducing the amount of Himalayan balsam in the rivers, but also raising much-needed fiunds to help support the Trust's conversation work. Our core values are very much based around enjoyment of the outdoors and with Puddingstone Distillery located next to Tring reservoirs Nature Reserve, a site maintained by the Trust, it makes a lot of sense to offer our support."

The inspiration for the gin came when Puddingstone Distillery moved next to Herts and Middlesex Tring Reservoirs Nature Reserve and owners Ben and Kate met staff from the Wildlife Trust.

The gin will be launched at the Trust’s Festival of Wildlife at the end of July. 

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