Dead wood habitats, such as log piles and wood stacks, can support a surprisingly wide range of garden wildlife.
Some types of beetle will use the wood to feed and breed, while woodlice, centipedes and millipedes may take shelter in the dark, damp conditions it provides. They in turn will attract predators such as hedgehogs, toads, mice and birds.
Read on to discover three simple ways to create dead wood habitats for wildlife.
First, find a spot where your log pile is unlikely to be disturbed. To create it, partially bury the logs, as some types of beetle feed on decaying wood beneath the soil’s surface. Ensure there are nooks and crannies for insects and mammals, and fill any gaps with dry leaves.
Start by erecting four wooden posts in a rectangle, then fill the space with pieces of wood, such as logs and twigs. Place big pieces such as logs at the bottom, then add twigs and clippings on top.
Either buy a wooden fence or make your own by erecting sturdy posts in the ground and then weaving branches in between them – you can nail these in place for a fixed fence, or leave them to move naturally as they gradually break down together. To allow the fence to rot down gradually and provide the most habitats for wildlife, don’t treat the wood with preservative.