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Gin company infuses pine needles to help raise funds for forest campaign

A small Highland artisan gin company is infusing one of its gins with pine needles to help raise funds for the campaign to preserve the Loch Arkaig pine forest near Spean Bridge.

Published: February 24, 2017
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 Angus distiller The Gin Bothy, which is using Arkaig pine needles in one of its creations, is donating £1 per bottle sold to the Woodland Trust charity and the community group Arkaig community forest.

Loch Arkaig forest, which was used for training commandos during the Second World War, was recently bought for £500,000 by the community after a massive fund-raising policy.

However, campaigners said a further £4 million is needed to restore it and have currently raised £2.9m.

Gin Bothy founder Kim Cameron, who collects a couple of large sackfuls of pineneedles around three times a year for “Bothy Original”, the company’s classic gin and tonic number, said: “When I heard about the Woodland Trust’s appeal for funds to buy and restore Loch Arkaig pine forest, I just knew we had to get on board. It is a spectacular place and there are such exciting plans for its future.”

Carol Evans, the Woodland’s Trust Scotland director, said: “We are delighted to have The Gin Bothy on board. Kim’s passion for what we are doing is evident, and we are great fans of the gin. One or two glasses have already been raised to toast the future of the forest”

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Another small company –  the Isle of Skye Candle Company – also producing a Scots Pine candle and donating money from sales to fund the forest.

Loch Arkaig forest, which was used for training commandos during the Second World War, was recently bought for £500,000 by the community after a massive fund-raising policy.

British Commandos and Allied Special Forces including the Free French trained at Loch Arkaig during the Second World War.

Loch Arkaig was the location for a sequence in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows which saw Harry, Hermione and Ron cling to a dragon as it flies above the forest before jumping off into the loch below.

The forest is home to a host of species including wild boar, sea eagles, golden eagles, ospreys, pine martens and deer.

Steeped in history, the area is the ancestral home of Clan Cameron.

A consignment of gold sent from France to help fund the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie is said to be hidden in the forest.

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