Shop local this Christmas and support Scots Pine

A new gin, launched in 2020 to support the National Trust for Scotland’s work to protect and restore the ancient pine forests in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park, is now available at stores and bars across Aberdeenshire.

Thursday, 26th November 2020, 6:27 am
Hugo Fairclough, Glenshee Craft Distillers, Shaila Rao, ecologist at Mar Lodge Estate

Produced by the conservation charity that cares for Scotland’s national and natural treasures, Pinewood Gin, comes with a clear conservation message and is created using hand-foraged botanicals from the pinewoods of Mar Lodge Estate – including juniper, pine needles, birch leaves, bog myrtle, wood sorrel and blaeberries, and distilled in partnership with Glenshee Craft Distillers, based locally to the estate near Braemar.

Shaila Rao, ecologist at Mar Lodge Estate, came up with the concept for the gin. She said: “We’ve had a great response to our Pinewood Gin – it seems to be going down well.

“It’s a real partnership of the local landscape, skills and people and we are really pleased that so many local businesses have agreed to stock it.

“Every bottle sold supports our efforts in Aberdeenshire to protect the Caledonian pinewoods of Mar Lodge Estate and restore them to their former glory.”

Pinewood Gin can be purchased online at and at a number of trust shops across the country, as well as the following locations:

McLeans of Braemar, Braemar; Invercauld Mews Bar, Braemar; Farquharsons, Braemar; The Fife Arms Hotel (bar & shop), Braemar; The Cairn Grill, Braemar; Deeside Deli & Garden shop, Ballater; Alexandra Hotel, Ballater; Balmoral Bar, Ballater; Strong Water Company, Banchory; Hammerton Stores. Aberdeen; Robertsons of Pitlochry, Pitlochry; Finzean Farm shop, Finzean and Scottish Deli, Dunkeld.

Thanks to the work of the National Trust for Scotland young pines are now creeping up the slopes to break the mountain skyline and filling in gaps in the old fragmented forest of “granny pines”. Wildlife will benefit from this expanding woodland and new species could be tempted in from Scandinavia.

Locking up carbon as they go, the pinewood regeneration is also contributing to the fight against climate change.

Mar Lodge Estate is the UK’s largest national nature reserve and is home to an incredible range of habitats, including 15 Munros, heathered moors, Caledonian pine forest and the Quoich wetlands, as well as a huge array of wildlife like otters, ptarmigan, black grouse and red deer.