At the top of Treflach Valley is Offas Dyke built in AD785. A welsh man found on the England side of the border could have his right hand chopped off in the Saxon times. Wales gets its name from the word wal which in old English means foreign, just as walnut means foreign nut-it was probably brought here by the Romans.
Walnuts are difficult to grow in our climate from seed so if you see one they will have been planted by someone. There are more walnut trees locally than anywhere else around due to Bob Jones, the majority are more than 80 years old and they have an impact on the environment- cattle that shelter under them are free from nuisance insects due to a natural fly repellent in the leaves. Wildlife that beat you to the nut harvest thrive on this ‘super nut’. In the past walnuts would be picked in July and pickled, the leaves used for medicine, the walnut casing used for dye, the sap used for sugar and the wood was very sought after but once they have been chopped down they don’t replace themselves hence their value as a production all round tree being greater. The tree always last to come into leaf and the first to loose their leaves in open country also has the reputation of thriving when treated harshly- hence the old ditty that ends ‘..... the more you beat them the better they be!’