How to compost

Composting safely

Which Bin to  Choose?

Your compost ingredients

Emptying your bin

To turn or not to turn?

How long to compost?

Worms and Wormeries

Topical Composting

Kitchen Waste

Prickly prunings

Weeds and Weeds

Too much grass

Leaves for Leafmould

Seasonal Tips


Advice sheets

Unwelcome Guests

Composting for wildlife

The easiest way to attract more wildlife into your garden is to make your own compost. As much of it as possible.

A compost heap is a valuable habitat. Billions of microscopic organisms live in it, breaking down the material you put in and turning it into compost. There are larger creatures too, worms are the ones we see most often, but at least 300 species of beetles can make their home in a compost heap though probably not all at once!
Removing dead and decaying vegetation from the garden destroys the homes of many tiny creatures. Putting all these stems, stalks, leaves and faded flowers into a compost bin recreates the habitats where they can live.
Studies have shown that gardens with compost heaps have a greater diversity of wildlife than those without.

When we use the compost we have made in the garden some of these creatures will stay in our soil, making it a richer environment that will keep our plants healthy. Some of the bugs and fungi in the compost attack pests and disease pathogens that can damage the plants we want to grow.
The creatures in the compost will form an important part of the food web in your garden: they will be eaten by birds, centipedes and spiders - blackbirds and robins need a lot of worms to feed their chicks.

We can use some of our garden waste to create shelters for insects and larger creatures like toads and hedgehogs.
Heap up small logs
Leave a pile of fallen leaves in a sheltered spot
Stack dry, hollow stems from the herbaceous border
Build a cairn of stones
All of these will provide safe, over wintering sites and dispose of some awkward garden waste.
These undisturbed habitats will gradually be colonised by lichens and mosses, adding to the biodiversity of your garden.

For instructions on how to make an organised heap of Dead Hedge see our leaflet Composting Woody Material.

Some creatures that set up home in our compost are Unwelcome Guests but they can be discouraged.


Useful links:
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