Lullingstone Park is home to over 300 veteran oak, beech, ash, hornbeam and sweet chestnut trees – some thought to be 800 years old. This project aims to help protect, sustain and manage notable trees so they can flourish for years to come.

Immortalised in the inspired and visionary paintings and sketches of British artist, Samuel Palmer, almost 200 years ago, the ancient and notable trees of Lullingstone Park bring awe and joy to visitors of the precious Darent Valley. Our project, Samuel Palmer’s Great Veterans of Lullingstone Park, aims to protect, sustain and manage these great veteran and notable trees. The goal is to ensure that they can flourish for many years to come, and continue to inspire residents and visitors alike.

As part of the DVLPS project, 92 future candidate veteran trees have been mapped and a further 208 trees have been reassessed. Each tree now has its own individual tree management plan. This will help the Country Parks team prioritise and mange the trees in the future.

Support from the golf course groundworkers, management, team captains and members is much valued and essential to increase awareness about the importance of the site’s veteran trees. A guided walk for groundworkers has prompted discussions on how small management changes can further protect the veterans.

Oak Processionary Moth, which is an invasive non native species that can cause damage to oak trees, has been spotted at the country park. In response to this DVLP and the Countryside Management Partnerships have teamed up with Forestry Commission to deliver some training to land managers and volunteers in the area. This training has enabled an early warning system to be set up so field signs can be recognised and reported as soon as possible so infestations do not spread.

The site’s interpretation has been revamped with three panels about the site’s veteran trees, history and chalk grassland located at these locations around the site. Orientation panels at the riverside, main visitor centre and golf course entrance further aid visitors in discovering and engaging with the site. There are also 10 veteran tree posts dotted around the site to point out some of the site’s magnificent veteran trees.

Many of these magnificent trees, along with the wider landscape, are recognisable in Samuel Palmer’s paintings and sketches; they appear today just as they did nearly 200 years ago to Palmer. Art lovers can especially appreciate this direct and visible link with Samuel Palmer’s work and what better way to enjoy this than on the Samuel Palmer Trail with accompanying audio-visual guide that passes through the site.

  • Protecting, sustaining and managing veteran trees
  • Highlighting the cultural connection to our landscape
  • Ensuring longevity and connection for years to come


Best way to travel

Lullingstone Park and its veteran trees is part of Lullingstone Country Park, just south of Eynsford. The nearest train station is Eynsford (1.1miles, 1.8km). Alternatively, follow the brown tourist signs to the Country Park from the A225.

If you would like more information on our Samuel Palmer’s Great Veteran Trees of Lullingstone Park project, please contact

Large old tree lying on its side
Large old tree
Two colourful signs about the site at the bottom of the meadow
Colourful sign explaining about the history of Lullingstone Country Park
Colourful sign explaining about the chalk grassland and trees at Lullingstone Country Park
Timber post next to large veteran tree on its side
Close up of timber post next to veteran tree
People on walk looking at trees
Spiky green leaves of Butcher's Broom plant in woodland
Close up of dead wood tree on its side
Tall thin trees with bluebells on woodland floor
Tall wide tree
Brown bracken fungus on woodland floor
Large old tree with hollowed centre
Nest of Oak Processionary Moth Caterpillars on trunk of oak tree
© Copyright Forestry Comission
Large light brown standing tree trunk
© Copyright Paul Burgess photography
Two trees with no leaves and blue sky above
© Copyright Paul Burgess photography
Large tree with dead wood
© Copyright Paul Burgess photography

Co-financed by the European Union and the European Regional Development Fund