Whiskey maker awarded for work to restore oysters to Dornoch Firth

Dr Bill Sanderson (R) & George Stoyle (L) emerge from the Dornoch Firth with oysters from the Glenmorangie DEEP Project.

Firm’s commitment to Highland neighbourhood honoured with three sustainability awards

Glenmorangie says its work to restore native European oysters to the coastal waters around its Highland home after a century’s absence has been recognised with a series of environmental accolades.

Working with partners Heriot-Watt University and the Marine Conservation Society, the whiskey firm has delivered a project to return oyster reefs to the nearby Dornoch Firth to enhance biodiversity. It is planned that the oysters, renowned for their ability to filter water, will also act in tandem with the distillery’s new anaerobic digestion plant, to purify the water that the distillery releases into the Firth. This year marked a significant milestone for the Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project (DEEP), the partnership between the three organisations, as the first oysters were returned to the Firth – more than 100 years after they were wiped out by overfishing. Work is now under way to secure funding for the project’s second phase, which aims to build an established reef within five years.

Hamish Torrie (L) & Dr Bill Sanderson (R) inspect the oysters retrived from the Dornoch Firth for the Glenmorange DEEP Project.

In recognition of its efforts to enhance the Dornoch Firth’s protected waters, Glenmorangie has in November 2017 been hailed as a sustainability champion at three separate awards ceremonies. It has picked up:

· The ‘Hydro Nation’ award for its innovative work in water treatment, at the VIBES – the Scottish Environment Business Awards. These awards are dedicated to recognising and rewarding businesses that contribute to Scotland’s sustainable environment;

· The ‘Luxury with a Heart’ accolade, at the Walpole British Luxury Awards, for its aim to enrich an important marine habitat and for its commitment to a sustainable future. The Walpole awards celebrate the best high-end products and services from a range of British businesses;

· The ‘Corporate Award’ at the RSPB’s Nature of Scotland Awards, which celebrate and recognise the best of conservation in Scotland.

Dr Peter Nelson, Operations Director at The Glenmorangie Company, said: “We’re delighted that our vision of protecting and sustaining the fragile beauty of Glenmorangie’s Highland surroundings has been celebrated by those who champion the environment. We hope these awards will further raise the profile of DEEP, as we, and our partners, dedicate efforts to the next stage in this pioneering project – building an established oyster reef in the Dornoch Firth within five years.”