At 900 square metres, the sedum roof is one of the largest green roofs ever installed in Cairngorns National Park. It’s been incorporated into the design to allow the building to blend into the natural environment.
Ecologist Peter Cosgrove, who monitors the site weekly to ensure the protection of habitats and wildlife, commented: “The roof has clearly thrived, is growing profusely and now flowering. From my professional point of view, it’s been a complete success, with no bare patches apparent. There is an abundance of colour and smell from the plants, and I’d estimate there were at least 10 to 15 bees for every square metre. There was a noticeable hum from the thousands of bees present on the roof.”
Ewen Mackintosh, managing Director at Gordon & MacPhail, owner of the distillery, added: “We knew this was a truly special site, sitting on the banks of the River Spey and looking towards the Cairngorms. We’ve taken special care to protect and enhance the local environment during construction and it’s wonderful to hear our green roof is already proving to be such an attraction for bees.”
The roof uses sedum, which is an easy-to-maintain plant ideal for use in green roofs and is resilient in the harshest of weather. They are carefully monitored and watered a couple of times a week, and even more regularly lately because of the increasingly consistent hot and dry weather.
The distillery is due to open later in the year, with a visitor experience included as well as tasting rooms, The Gathering restaurant and retail space. Its first spirit, due for release at some point in the 2030's, recently entered production.