Friday, 27 July 2018

Byron's Gin: winning awards and supporting the next generation of botanists

Image courtesy of Byron's Gin/ Speyside Distillery
Great news that both expressions of Byron's Gin, BSBI's official gin, have just won an award in the prestigious International Wine & Spirit Competition. Melancholy Thistle won a silver medal and Bird Cherry won a bronze medal. You can read all about the awards in this post on the Scottish Gin Society's website.

The reason we are so pleased is quite mercenary: more awards mean more publicity, which (hopefully) means increased sales of Byron's Gin and ultimately more money contributed to BSBI to help support our training programme.

Training session at FSC Margam, 2017.
Student Richard (far left) attended
 thanks to a BSBI grant
Image: Jenni Duffell
Every year BSBI awards small training grants (up to £250) to botanists wishing to improve their skills. Some are beginners making a start with plant ID who will go on to contribute to recording and conservation projects, or ecological consultants wanting to add plant ID to their portfolio of skills. Others are already experienced recorders who want to sharpen their skills in a particular area. Grant applications open on 1st January each year and close again after a few weeks because we have spent the entire budget - if only we had more money to give to those budding botanists... 

Every grant recipient is invited to write a short account for these pages about the course they were able to attend thanks to that BSBI grant. We featured the first of this year's accounts a few weeks ago and there are more in the pipeline. Watch this space!