Suntory Global Spirits continues peat preservation work on Islay

Suntory Global Spirits (formerly Beam Suntory) has restored a further 80 hectares of peatland through its Peatland Water Sanctuary programme on the Scottish island of Islay.

The restoration work was carried out at The Oa reserve in partnership with RSPB Scotland and will help to maintain the role of peatland ecosystems in Scotland’s natural environment.

The Oa is a large reserve with freshwater lochs and peatland bogs, as well as sea cliffs and coastal grasslands. It is home to rare birdlife including golden eagles, choughs and twites, alongside wildlife such as otters and grey seals.

Alistair Longwell, head of distillation & environment, Suntory Global Spirits, said: “The restoration at The Oa is not only integral to sustaining its resilience to climate change, but also in promoting a protected nature reserve on our special island of Islay, home to our Laphroaig and Bowmore distilleries and a thriving local community.”

Suntory Global Spirits has contributed £250,000 to re-establish the original peatland vegetation and water table, and the partnership with RSPB began in 2022. The total area of restored peatland on Islay is now up to 150 hectares, with a further 70 hectares already restored near the Bowmore distillery.

Jack Fleming, RSPB Scotland area manager for Argyll, Arran and Ardnamurchan, added: “As well as trapping carbon, healthy peatlands provide homes for iconic wildlife such as Curlews and Hen Harriers. They are among the most effective tools we have for tackling the nature and climate crisis, so to have restored 80 hectares at The Oa, on top of the previous work at Airds Moss, is an achievement well worth raising a glass to.”