Norbury and Walnut Trees

Along the Mole Gap Trail…

A 17th Century landscape dominated by walnut trees.

In the late 17th century, Surrey was a leading centre of Walnut production in Britain and Norbury Park was noted for its many walnut trees. The planting of walnuts trees was championed by John Evelyn whose own estate at Wootton, west of Dorking, was nearby. As part of a campaign to reforest the British landscape he encourage the planting of walnut trees on local estates including Norbury. A bitter winter in 1708 decimated the walnut plantations and, although many were subsequently replanted, it was the felling of their timber, prized for furniture and gun stocks rather than nut production, that resulted in the demise of the once ubiquitous walnut at Norbury.