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Log pile

Being a good wildlife gardener I've set aside a small area as a log pile; and being a good conservationist, rather than bin any woody offcuts, I put them onto this pile each year.

It's getting a bit big now though, so I wondered if I could kill two birds as it were by using some of the lower (presumably rotted down) wood etc as compost in the garden?  Has anyone done this, and how likely is it to damage the ecosystem in the pile, assuming I leave as many insects etc behind as I can as I "clear" it?



  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 8,110

    You probably aren't going to know until you start to dismantle it Rob.

    If you are going to do it, I'd say now is a better time than in the Autumn.  You don't want to be disturbing Frogs, Toads, Newts, Slow worms etc.

    Prepare the site for your new pile....make a comfy base using some of the decayed material and shake off any big or obvious creatures into that.  You will inevitably disturb some creatures but if your new pile is not too far distant from the original, they will gravitate towards their new home.image 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,091

    Lots of what's in there will be invisible to the naked eye but still part of the ecosystem. Clearing isn't part of this, you could rescue insects but you've removed their home and probably their eggs.

    If it's too big, don't put any more on, or if you have room, start another one

  • OnopordumOnopordum Posts: 390

    The lower, damper and more decomposed parts of the log pile are likely to support most of the wildlife, compared to the drier, more intact pieces on top. So ideally you'd want to leave the base undisturbed.

    Maybe you're adding too much small diameter branchy stuff rather than larger logs which is bulking it up too much. Do you have any space for piling cut material elsewhere (e.g. under shrubs/hedges) where it won't be in the way?

  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 8,110

    I suspect I misread.  I'd thought the OP was enquiring as to when the best time tackle a necessary task.  Can't even blame it on sunstroke.....unfortunatelyimage 

    There'll be lots of busy things beavering away in there so if it doesn't HAVE to be done, I'd agree with the above comments and leave well alone.

  • Rob LockwoodRob Lockwood Posts: 169

    Okelydokely - yep, I thought it'd be a no-no - thanks for the comments - I'll find somewhere better to dump my clippings!

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