Piles of leaves in gardens and parks provide numerous benefits to wildlife, including:
Log piles are excellent habitats for nature in your garden and offer a range of benefits:
Compost heaps are living habitats that can be full of earthworms and other invertebrates, as well as fungi and soil bacteria:
Composting your garden waste is free and easy to do, producing compost for your garden and providing benefits to wildlife.
During autumn, deciduous trees will lose their leaves, so the easiest thing to do is to locate a small area in the garden to allow the leaves to collect in.
How to maintain your leaf pile
You should leave your pile undisturbed for two years if possible. Whilst in place, this provides an excellent natural nesting habitat for hedgehogs and bumblebees.
After one year, create another leaf pile. By staggering their creation, year after year you will have a good supply of leaf-mould that will help your soil absorb nutrients by introducing fungi, whilst also ensuring that you are not removing the nesting habitat.
Log piles are very easy habitats to create, as you can simply leave piles of woody cuttings from trees and shrubs directly on the ground. If you don’t have your own wood, you may be able to obtain logs from firewood sellers, tree surgeons and gardeners.
The best location for a log pile is in a damp and shady area, as a lot of sunshine can dry out the wood. It is also a good idea to place log piles in areas of your Naturespace that are less disturbed. Larger and thicker logs generally tend to attract more wildlife, as they offer more potential habitat and shelter.
How to maintain your log pile
Log piles require very little maintenance. The longer you leave a log pile, the more benefits it will have for wildlife, eventually supporting a range of fungi and providing refuges for small mammals, amphibians and reptiles.
There are many ways to compost, so choose one or more methods that suit your Naturespace, both in terms of size and aesthetics. The main three types are:
Compost bins need a mix of ‘green nitrogen-rich’ and ‘brown carbon-rich’ matter. The finer you shred the material before putting it into the compost heap, the quicker it will rot.