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Warner Edwards seek helpers to make new gin

On Sunday, 22nd September, Warner Edwards founders Tom Warner and Sion Edwards, who create gin in a 200-year-old converted barn in Harrington, will team up with fellow family-run farming business, West Lodge Rural Centre in Desborough, to source sloes from the Northamptonshire countryside. But they will need the assistance of an army of fruit pickers on the day.

In true community spirit Warner Edwards want to ensure its next gin, a limited-edition sloe variety, will be made with a helping hand from locals who can donate their sloe berries to be used in the making of the new gin.

Every year West Lodge Rural Centre stages a Hedgerow Harvest. For the first time this year the hundreds of fruit pickers who turn up for the event will have the chance to swap the sloe berries they hand pick for the new sloe gin that will be created by Warner Edwards.

In a modern day twist on the traditional art of bartering, anyone enlisting in the army of sloe pickers will have the opportunity to reap rewards for their efforts.

Prolific punnet producers could find the fruits of their labours rewarded in a variety of ways including receiving a bottle of the Warner Edwards sloe gin. As well as being involved in the creation of the unique spirit, sloe swappers have the chance to receive a commemorative certificate, a place on a roll on honour and an invite to a launch party in December to mark the making of the new gin.

Tom Warner said: “We need around three and a half tonnes of sloe berries to be able to create our new gin. We are a Northamptonshire business and we wanted to ensure we used sloes from the surrounding area to make our gin and help put Northamptonshire on the map.“

The Hedgerow Harvest event, which runs from 10am till 5pm, will offer free tractor rides to take visitors to all the berry picking hot spots. Anyone who collects and donates 3kg of sloes will get a £6 Warner Edwards voucher, 10kg for a free bottle of the Sloe gin when it is made and 15kg for name printed on free bottle of sloe gin.

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19 September 2013 - Felicity Murray, editor