A CHARITY is appealing to gin-makers to help it create a tasty new spirit with a local flavour.

Groundwork, which is working on the rejuvenation of Rivington Terraced Gardens, wants to turn berries growing on the site into a tasty tipple.

Manager, Andrew Suter, said: “Lord Leverhulme planted gaultheria shallon shrubs in the gardens at the beginning of the 20th century. It’s a relative of the blueberry bush and has dark purple berry-like fruits.”

Unfortunately, the non-native shrub is highly invasive and can spread quickly. Mr Suter said: “It’s taking over large sections of the gardens and it creates a poor habitat for wildlife and other plants so we are removing it from a number of areas.”

It was during the removal that he had the idea of harvesting the berries to create a heritage gin.

“We’ve collected about 16 kilograms which are being stored in my freezer at the moment. There are a lot of local gin makers out there so we are hoping one of them will help us and use the berries to create a gin, which we can sell to raise funds.”

Contact Mr Suter on 01942 821444.