ENGLAND’S smallest and first self-built gin and whisky distillery is aiming to reduce the carbon footprint of its North Yorkshire operations by pledging to plant 400 trees in a year.

Cooper King Distillery, based in Sutton-on-the-Forrest, is partnering with Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) on the project.

The business, which recently began distilling its signature gin, Cooper King York Dry Gin, has promised to plant one square metre of native woodland for every bottle of gin sold. The partnership with the charity will result in 4000-5000 square metres of native woodland within the first year.

Cooper King York Dry Gin is set to be retail ready next month, when the distillery opens its doors to the public for the first time.

The company holds a strong focus on having a positive impact on the environment, having recently partnered with green energy specialists, Ecotricity, Cooper King is one of only three of distilleries in England to be run on 100 per cent green energy.

The venture was established by co-founders Chris Jaume, a chartered architect and Dr Abbie Neilson, a former scientist, who while visiting Australia became fascinated by Tasmania’s eight operational whisky distilleries and the hand-crafted premium whisky industry, which was just starting to take off in this part of the world.

Commenting on the tree-planting initiative, Cooper King Distillery co-founder Abbie Neilson said: “We are making a real effort to operate in the most sustainable way possible, therefore we’re delighted to be partnering with YDMT.

“We have always had a passion for the environment and sustainable living, and take great pleasure in supporting YDMT.

“We guarantee that for every bottle of gin sold, one square metre of woodland will be planted in the local area through our partnership with the fantastic Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.”

Leah Galloway, Fundraiser at Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust said: “It’s great to see a local business actively working to ensure that they have a positive impact in the local community.”