The new gin will incorporate the flowers of the Himalayan balsam plant. Himalayan balsam is a non-native invasive plant that smothers our riverbanks and damages delicate river ecosystems. Hertfordshire is home to a number of globally rare chalk rivers and Himalayan balsam is a constant threat to the health of these rivers.
Himalayan Balsam was introduced as a garden plant in the 19th century, but soon escaped and became widely naturalised along riverbanks and ditches. It is fast-growing and spreads quickly by seed, especially problematic on riverbanks, invading wet habitat quickly at the expense of other, native flowers.
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 funds to help support the Trust’s conservation 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 gin will be launched at the Trust’s Festival of Wildlife at the end of July. For each bottle sold, Puddingstone Distillery will donate £2 to the Trust.
Sarah Rutherford, the Trust’s Fundraising Manager said:
We’re delighted to be partnering with Puddingstone Gin to create this unique drink. Hertfordshire has some magnificent wild places and we’re very pleased that local businesses are keen to help protect them. The new gin is definitely the tastiest way I’ve come across to help support local wildlife!