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Maidstone Ranscombe 19 Aug 23 Couple Picking Large

31st August 2023

Maidstone Distillery and Plantlife Collaborate for a Unique Foraging Event at Ranscombe Farm

Maidstone Distillery, a family run distillery based in the heart of Kent, joined hands with Plantlife, the leading wild plant conservation charity, to host an interactive and informative foraging event at the picturesque Ranscombe Farm.

This event not only celebrated the diverse plant life that thrives in the local ecosystem but also the botanicals that give Ranscombe Wild Small Batch Gin its unique, bright flavour profile.

It was a warm morning with a fresh breeze as members of the local community gathered to hear from Ranscombe Farm Reserve Manager, Ben, who explained all about the importance of the reserve and the sustainable conservation practices utilised by Plantlife to keep this fabulous land and other reserves like it across the UK healthy and thriving.The reserve itself is home to some of the rarest wild plants in the UK and for some of them is the only place in Britain that you can find them growing in the wild.

After learning all about the importance of Plantlife’s work, it was time for Maidstone Distillery’s co-founder and Head Distiller, Darren, to speak about the inspiration behind Ranscombe Wild Small Batch Gin, and Maidstone Distillery’s commitment to supporting Plantlife and Ranscombe Farm. Plantlife and their expert conservational botanists initially helped Maidstone Distillery to develop the recipe for this delightfully zesty gin, identifying six wonderfully distinct botanicals that grow in abundance on their flagship reserve in Cuxton, Kent. These unconventional botanicals sit at the forefront of the flavour profile, offering a delicious herbaceous and floral note to this contemporary flavoured gin.

Soon enough, it was time for the main event, as groups headed into the meadows to forage for several of the key botanicals in Ranscombe Wild Small Batch Gin. Cornmint, red clover and wild marjoram were all ready for harvesting in the meadows, and community volunteers diligently rooted them out. Ben and Laura from Plantlife, as well as Sandra and Darren from Maidstone Distillery, were on hand to help identify the star botanicals, and all guests soon had an eye for the correct plants.

As the sun hit its peak, it was time to return back to the gazebo, with arms full of sweet-scented leaves and flowers. Volunteers were greeted with a well-deserved Ranscombe Wild Gin and Tonic, enjoyed amongst the fields that inspired the award-winning spirit. Well-stocked goody bags were handed out to mark everyone’s contribution to the next batch of Ranscombe Wild Small Batch Gin and then, after a final thank you from Darren, it was time to say goodbye.

"We are thrilled to collaborate with Plantlife on this foraging event," said Darren Graves, Co-Founder of Maidstone Distillery. "Our commitment to sustainability aligns perfectly with Plantlife's mission, and this event allows us to showcase the incredible botanical diversity that surrounds us, while demonstrating how it can be harnessed thoughtfully and used for distilling our award winning Ranscombe Wild Gin. We can’t wait for next year’s Annual Botanical Foraging Event; we hope to see you all there!”

For more information about Maidstone Distillery and Plantlife, please visit and


The Maidstone Distillery

We are reinstating the tradition of Maidstone pioneer and Master Distiller, George Bishop, who created quality and world-renowned spirits from our county town back in 1785.