What you say is right outside we have some hazel trees in the mixed country park but the squirrels have took them all. The cups that the nuts are in can be found but i havnt found a hazelnut.
I had the same trouble with field mushrooms, couldnt find them till i got up an hour earlier than the fellow i saw comeing out the field with a bag full .
I know what the acorns are i have grown the ones i collected in my Garden. I have found lots of the split hazel nuts outer layer layed on the woodland floor.
Im going to have to have a day in the woods.PB