Though winter seems to be continuous for us here on the Isle of Barra and Scotland itself, we are setting our minds to brighter weather, longer days and warmer climates. Overcoming winter is always a pleasure!
Spring time on the Isle of Barra is a beautiful time, there’s lots going on and you see an incredible change in our landscape and our personalities. Everywhere and everything appears cheerier, lighter and brighter!
One of our favourite things about Spring on our Island home has to be the birth of new life and by that we’re referring to lambs. We have many crofters and farmers on Barra who all share their love for keeping livestock. Each spring we see a baby boom of lambs on the machair’s and it’s one of the significant memories of Spring for us. Watching the lambs play and hop around the hills with their siblings is wonderful. We just try our best not to think about what the future holds for those poor lambs!
We also see the coming and going of one of the best weekends on Barra, Easter Weekend! Flood’s of locals return home to spend the Easter holidays with their families and friends and it’s an important weekend on the social calendar too. It’s the first weekend of the year where we see the return of the atmospheric buzz around the Island, where we get together for a drink or two at the pub and enjoy live traditional music from Friday to Monday. It’s truly a weekend not to be missed!
Not only this but we see the new season kick-start with our local Hotel’s opening for business as usual, our restaurants and cafes extending their hours and new travellers flooding onto the Island from their Calmac passage to the Isles to eagerly explore our beautiful, unspoilt home.
At the Isle of Barra Distillers, after spring time sparks the annual hand harvesting of our key botanical, carrageen seaweed which we source naturally from crystal clear, pure shallows surrounding our Island. Every piece of edible carrageen seaweed is meticulously selected and handpicked by us on Barra's beautiful beaches to provide the distinctive flavour of our unique gin - a bold, maritime flavour, with a huge mentholic lean and a pinch of salty air. This allows us enough supply of our key botanical to produce our award-winning Barra Atlantic Gin for the year ahead.
We have five locations where we harvest our key botanical from and once that area has been picked, we then leave it for four years. This allows the carrageen plenty of time for regrowth, in most cases twelve months is ample time. We also leave around 60% of carrageen behind in that area in order to sustain our beautiful Island and its seaweed. It is our responsibility to ensure this is unspoilt and sustained for the future of our home.