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Inshriach's ginitiser

The weird and wonderful ways our owners are spending lockdown

We’ve always known that our owners were a fairly innovative bunch, but it’s amazing what some of them get up to when they’ve got more time on their hands than usual. We wanted to highlight a few of the creative ways they've been keeping busy in the absence of guests. 

Don't drink this

gin

Nothing would surprise us from a man who drove an old fire truck the length of the country or moved an unwanted train station onto his land, but Walter has spent his lockdown time converting his gin distillery into a factory for a hand soap he calls “ginitiser”. As well as producing over 1,000 litres to giveaway to charities and community groups, you can also buy some from his online shop.

Walter, owner of Inshriach Yurt and Shepherd’s Hut, The Bothy Project and The Beermoth, Aviemore, Scotland.

Replacing guests with alpacas

aplaca

Without the normal comings and goings of guests, Kirsty and Gary were left with only their flock of shetland sheep, rare breed hens, rescued battery chickens and two valois blacknose sheep for company. It’s easy to see why they felt the need to add 10 alpacas to their smallholding. It’d be too quiet otherwise. The conversation’s not as good, but the wool is much better.

Kirsty & Gary, owners of shepherd’s huts Dither & Faff, Dorset 

A drive-through producers market

wyevalley

Not content with making some fantastic beers that serve the community pretty well already, Ed & Tori from The Hop Garden at Kingstone Brewery have contributed to a weekly drive-through producers market to help all the farmers and artisans in the area continue to function throughout the lockdown. It’s a click and collect system where you can pick up everything from bread to sweets, all made by local companies. If you're local, head here to order for next week.

Tori & Ed, The Hop Garden at Kingstone Brewery, Monmouthshire, Wales

Medicinal foraging

kesri

Using their extensive knowledge of the plants you can find underfoot in the UK, Kesri and Paul have been carefully restocking their medicine cabinet, with everything from antiseptic ribwort to cough-curing ground ivy. Just remember, as they say, to take only what you need and leave the plant to regrow. Head to their Instagram for the low-down on what to look out for.

Kesri & Paul, owners of the safari tents at Drover’s Rest, Herefordshire

Growing a forest

maple

Greville has thrown an enormous amount of his spare time into a project to grow 1000 Japanese Maples from seedlings he gathered last year. He plans to give a seedling to every guest who stays and spread their striking colours as far and wide as he can. It ever so slightly beats the sad herbs we’re growing in our window boxes.

Greville, owner of the Mollycroft, Yorkshire