Saturday, 31 March 2018

Juniper: in Byron's Gin and on the BSBI's Database

Juniper photographed in the Outer Hebrides
Image: Paul Smith 
This month's post about Byron's Gin focuses on a plant without which - well, gin just wouldn't be gin! Juniper is an essential ingredient in gin but did you know that it is a plant in decline across Britain and Ireland? 

This BSBI distribution map shows where Juniper has been recorded over time. It was one of the species studied under the BSBI's Threatened Plants Project (TPP). If you have a copy of Threatened Plants in Britain and Ireland, the recent publication which arose out of the TPP, you'll be able to read more about the factors driving the decline of Juniper, especially in lowland areas in England: Juniper is listed as Near Threatened on the England Red List
You can also read more about Juniper in this factsheet from Plantlife and on the Woodland Trust's website.

While most of the botanicals used in Byron's Gin are harvested sustainably in the distillery's grounds and nearby surroundings, the juniper is sourced from further afield to avoid impacting negatively on local populations. So you can drink Byron's Gin with a clear conscience! And don't forget that for every bottle of Byron's Gin sold, a contribution is made to BSBI's training programme, helping us to train and support the next generation of botanists.