How to make a stumpery for insects

Find out how to make a wildlife-friendly stumpery for a semi-shaded spot in your garden.

Do it:

Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

Takes just:

an afternoon

A stumpery is not only an attractive feature in the garden, it also attracts masses of wildlife. A stumpery is similar to a log pile, but is a permanent feature, consisting of upright logs, half buried in the soil, on which moss, lichen and fungi will grow. You can plant ferns in and around the logs for extra interest.

Dead wood makes a wonderful wildlife habitat, providing food and shelter for a huge number of invertebrates, including wood-boring beetles, solitary bees and woodlice.

Choose a spot in partial shade, where the wood will remain moist. Aim for a range of heights and thicknesses of log.

Find out how to make a stumpery, below.

You will need

  • Spade
  • Logs and branches
  • Mallet
  • Ferns (optional)


Dig a pit approximately 50cm deep and wide enough to accommodate all of your upright logs.

Stand the largest log in the pit. Ensuring it is level, secure it with your feet and add the smaller logs around it.

Replace soil around the logs and fill any gaps with soil. Firm around the stumpery with your feet. Plant ferns around the logs to add interest.

Discover 10 ferns to grow.


Evergreen ferns

Hart's tongue fern, Asplenium scolopendrium, is an evergreen fern that is easy to grow in shade.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

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