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Autumn leaves

DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 64,543

Can I make a plea that when you're raking up those autumn leaves, you leave a pile in a quiet corner, rather than bag or bin all of them.  In our first autumn at this garden we rigorously raked and bagged the leaves from our big ash trees as they fell, in an effort to keep them off the lawn which in previous years had been allowed to suffocate under the thick blanket of leaves.  

Just as the winter was turning really cold we came upon a hedgehog who had scraped together the few leaves he could find to make his hibernation home in a garden which in other winters had always provided him with a thick cosy blanket of leaves.

Fortunately we were able to move the hedgehog to a sheltered corner and protect him with a thick insulating layer of hay from the pet shop, and he came through his hibernation safely.

In the following winters we've raked the leaves off the lawn and bagged some of them, but left plenty in piles in places where the hedgehogs can gather enough for their nests, and only when the hedgehogs have stopped visiting the garden every evening do we bag the remaining leaves up to rot down for leafmould.

Remember the hedgehogs! image

“I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh



  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    No chance of me being too tidy Dove. Last year's leaves are still out thereimage

  • I think this is a very good idea we need many protected areas for wildlife over winter and leaving them under trees etc can be very good.

    I looked out in the garden the other day and down the lining in one of the pots was a frog sitting there so even this provided a sheltered spot for animals.

    Also even if we do collect some of the leaves we can store them as it says in Gardeners' World and turn them into leaf mould.

  • This is very good for wild life


  • Many thanks. I don't have a lawn so no worries there but I will leave little piles around the garden

  • I wish if I did this I would get hedgepigs but have only seen one since I lived here it hibernated in my lean too b4 we had the extension. But this year I will leave a pile for them 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 64,543

    This site has lots of tips about making your garden hedgehog friendly image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • GillyLGillyL Posts: 1,077

    A little pile of twigs and small branches in a sheltered spot is also a good idea.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,148

    I've stacked a nice  pile of logs and branches from the dead trees I had to remove in the garden and now have a little corner behind the shed which is being kept untidy for wildlife. I'll add more things like bee boxes as I go along too. The bees have been out in force today at the sedums and some hoverflies were quite happy to stay on the rocket while  I moved it from a trough into another pot! image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • GillyLGillyL Posts: 1,077

    Found a beautiful Dragonfly caught up in a large cobweb this afternoon,too late to save itimage,but at least the spider won,t go hungry.

  • Thanks for the tips about not raking up all the leaves.  We have a resident

    hedgehog in our garden.  He's made his home between the garage wall and a

    brick bbq we no longer use.  I won't let my OH pull it down because we have 

    a dear little woodmouse living in it (must be a male because we only ever see

    him)  but at least we know we're helping a couple of wild creatures to survive.


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