A FARM to fork link-up in Pembrokeshire creating a seaweed gin will help fund conservation work on Ramsey Island.

RSPB Cymru has teamed up with the ‘farm to fork’ restaurant St Davids Kitchen to create the new range of gins, officially launched on St Davids Day at the restaurant in St Davids.

Ramsey Island Welsh Dry Gin and St David’s Seaweed Welsh Dry Gin capture the essence of the area with a distinctive and unique taste.

The design of the bottles also features striking artwork of some of the most iconic birds and animals that lives along the Pembrokeshire’s coast.

The gin, produced by St Davids Kitchen, includes botanicals that grows on Ramsey Island. The thyme, mint, gorse and heather that gives the gin its flavour are found in abundance on Ramsey, and are only picked from areas already set aside for cutting or grazing for conservation purposes.

This partnership will also give a financial boost to the conservation work on the island. Five per cent of net sales from the sale of each bottle will be donated to RSPB Cymru, along with £10 from each sale of the exclusive artwork displayed on the bottles which is available to purchase as mounted frames.

The money will go towards delivering vital conservation projects in Wales and on Ramsey and Grassholm islands including helping fund seabird research projects on Ramsey and Grassholm islands, and the annual October trip to aid gannets entangled in marine plastic debris on Grassholm. Parts of the donations will also go further afield in Wales to help other conservation projects.

St Davids Kitchen manager, Neil Walsh said: “It’s really exciting to continue to develop St Davids Kitchens relationship with RSPB Cymru. We started off in October 2016 when we had lamb and venison from Ramsey Island, which is two miles as the crow flies from the restaurant.

“The gin adventure is a real game changer for us, not only will it help support the conservation work that RSPB Cymru do, but it will have a real economic impact within the local community. As an accredited living wage employer, this will create at least six full-time jobs with St Davids over the next three years.”

RSPB Ramsey Island site manager, Greg Morgan said: “It’s a pleasure to team up with our friends and neighbours St Davids Kitchen on this venture. It’s an exciting opportunity to show people what we’ve got to offer here, and an innovative way of funding the important work we do to protect the amazing wildlife of the island and surrounding areas.

“We’re already seeing the benefits. The first of the profits is being spent on a UV sterilising unit in the island shop, meaning we can stop buying water in plastic bottles for retail, which helps us to meet our plastic free pledge. This will also provide safe drinking water for island visitors, volunteers and staff.”

RSPB Cymru and St Davids Kitchen are already working together on other ventures, with the restaurant purchasing conservation grade lamb and venison from Ramsey for their menu.

Greg continued:

“The plan is to produce seasonal Ramsey Island gins. Spring will incorporate gorse flower and wild thyme, summer includes sheep's sorrel and wood sage while autumn and winter will feature Ramsey's fragrant heather and mint. St Davids Kitchen are also hoping to craft a special blend made from juniper berries found on the peninsula.”