Midlothian Council supports Secret Garden Distillery’s transition to greener practices

Wednesday May 31st 2023

Secret Herb Garden Borehole

Imogen Armstrong supervised the installation of the borehole at the Secret Garden Distillery.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

The Secret Garden Distillery, a prominent local gin producer, is nearing completion of its plans to achieve Carbon Zero status by 2026 and aims to become Carbon-Negative by 2030. As part of their ambitious carbon-reduction goals, the distillery has undertaken various initiatives, including the establishment of a Midlothian Council-funded borehole at their garden site.

Midlothian Council, through the Midlothian Business Gateway team, has been actively assisting local businesses in adopting environmentally friendly practices through the Local Authority COVID Economic Recovery Fund provided by the Scottish Government, with a total investment of £80 million.

Imogen Armstrong, one of the Directors of Secret Garden Distillery, emphasised the significance of water usage in their operations, stating, “We use a substantial amount of water for gin production and maintaining our gardens. The energy consumed by the water industry in the UK contributes up to 6% of carbon emissions. Our objective was to reduce our water footprint, and the borehole provides us with a sustainable and self-sufficient water source utilising natural resources located beneath the ground.”

Although the water source is situated 12 meters below the ground level, the LACER fund from Midlothian Council facilitated the construction of a protective shed for the pumping equipment and the necessary groundwork to connect the borehole to the distillery’s garden site. The high quality of the water extracted from the borehole requires a less extensive cleaning and filtration process compared to mains water. Secret Garden Distillery estimates that this shift will result in an annual reduction of 9% in carbon emissions, contributing to its overall sustainability objectives.

Imogen added, “Now, both our stills and our 7.5-acre garden are supplied with water pumped from this very shed. We may be biased, but we believe it tastes better than Evian! By reducing our carbon footprint, we have not only achieved our environmental goals but also enhanced the flavour of our gin. It’s a win-win situation.”

To allow visitors to experience the taste difference first-hand, the Secret Garden Distillery Cafe & Bistro connected to the new water supply, invites individuals to explore the gardens and enjoy their offerings.

Midlothian Council remains committed to supporting local businesses in their transition towards sustainable practices. Through the Local Authority COVID Economic Recovery Fund, the council continues to promote eco-conscious initiatives that contribute to a greener and more resilient economy.

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