Talking walnuts with Roger Deakin

I met the late environmental broadcaster and writer Roger Deakin (b. February 11th 1943 and d. August 19th 2006) when he came to visit the walnut trials I had established at Paradise Wood in Oxfordshire. He was researching for his book, Wildwood: a journey through trees, that would become his last, published in 2007.

Roger Deakin's Wildwood
Roger Deakin's Wildwood

Roger came to learn more about my walnut seed collecting expedition to Kyrgyzstan, and to see the walnut research field trials in Oxfordshire (Wildwood p. 148). He came as a member of the Walnut Club; a short-lived group dedicated to walnutters interested in growing walnuts for their fruit and timber, then supported by Horticulture Research International.

Our meeting led to him pursuing many in my walnut network including Robin Bircham in Suffolk, Peter Savill in Oxford, and Jaguar Cars: summed up in his beautiful prose in the chapter Among Jaguars. He later describes his own travels to Kyrgyzstan, including his explorations amongst the walnut forests in the south.

Gabriel Hemery


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