The Cairn Distillery’s Green Roof Becomes A Bee Haven

| August 24, 2022

The Cairn Distillery, near Scotland’s Grantown on Spey, has a “green” roof that’s proving to be a haven for bees.

A statement from The Cairn notes that since it was installed in April, the roof has thrived and is now carpeted with wildflowers. And as a result, it’s attracted thousands of bees, according to the ecological clerk of works on the site.

Ecologist Peter Cosgrove weekly monitors the site to ensure wildlife and habitats are being protected. A recent inspection of the roof found the progress made.

Cairn Green Roof

The Cairn Distillery, near Scotland’s Grantown on Spey, has a “green” roof that’s proving to be a haven for bees. (image via The Cairn)

“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,” he wrote. “There is an abundance of color and smell from the plants, and I’d estimate there were at least 10 to 15 bees for every square meter. There was a noticeable hum from the thousands of bees present on the roof.”

The 900-square-meter sedum roof is one of the largest green roofs installed in Cairngorms National Park. It was incorporated into the design to allow the building to blend into its local environment.

Gordon & MacPhail, owner of the new distillery, made sure the new facility reflected its natural surroundings.

Managing Director Ewen Mackintosh said, “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 green roof uses sedum, a plant that’s easy to maintain and requires little water and few nutrients. It’s known for use in green roofs as it’s resilient and can survive the harshest weather.

The Cairn is the second distillery for whisky experts Gordon & MacPhail. The family firm, which also owns Benromach Distillery at Forres, announced the building of a second distillery in 2018. Work started on site once restrictions on construction were lifted in July of 2020.

The Cairn Distillery, which includes a visitor experience, tasting rooms, The Gathering restaurant, and retail space, is due to open later this year.


Gary Carter

Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether...