The pond in Norton Green’s Watery Grove hosts newts and frogs and toads. Purple Emperor butterflies are reputed to visit the tree tops of the common. The sunflower mural on the end of a row of cottages cheers a trip – and here’s the rub – southwards on the A1M.
The hamlet is just yards from the howling cars and rumbling trucks. The only thing that can be said for having the road there is that Norton Green has just about kept its independence from Stevenage, unlike Symonds Green which fell on the other side of the route surveyors’ line. A pedestrian underpass and a quarter of a mile of tarmac provide access to and from Stevenage. The pub marked on my Ordnance Survey is no longer there.
But turn your back on the A1M and you can walk around the edges of the woods bordering Knebworth House park. Walk all the way around the woods and you can find your way into the deer park.