Wildlife Log Pile
A pile of rotting logs is the perfect home for all kinds of interesting species of insects and their larvae. Easy to create, a log pile is fantastic way to increase the wildlife diversity in your garden.
You could attract some amazing beetles including the stag beetle and the smaller lesser stag beetle. They lay their eggs in rotting wood where larvae hatch out of the eggs and live until they pupate and emerge as fully developed beetles. The stag beetle is the largest of all British beetles, the males can measure up to 7cm long and has large jaws that look like antlers, but it is harmless. Its larvae spend about four years munching rotting wood before it becomes an adult beetle.
Plenty of other insects like woodlice and centipedes will also enjoy the special mini habitat provided by a log pile, even frogs and toads might use it as a hideaway.
The log pile can be hidden away in a damp, shady corner or under shrubs, planting ferns in the gaps between the logs makes it look great. You could even add primroses and snowdrops for a real woodland effect.
1. You need to find some logs. If dont have any try phoning a tree surgeon, they always have plenty to dispose of. Almost any logs will do but beech, ash, elm and oak logs are best if you can get them. It doesn't matter if they are already damp and rotting, in fact it is perfect.
2. Dig a hole about 30-45cm deep and wide enough to fit in all your logs stood on end.
3. Stand the logs in the hole and use your foot to pack soil around them so they stay in position. It is best if the logs are not too tall, using different heights of logs can make a pile that looks interesting.
4. To make it look like a little piece of woodland, plant a few small ferns in the spaces between the logs by filling the gaps with soil and poking in the ferns. Give the whole log pile a good drenching with a hose.
By Clare Mathews, Clare Mathews Garden Design Ltd.