Why should I include deadwood in my garden?

Artificial habitats like a bug tower can provide a great addition to any garden, but should only be included where more natural habitats cannot be provided. Deadwood is an extremely valuable feature of many habitats.

It may look unsightly to some, but pieces of standing and fallen decaying wood are vital to many species. Even just a few bushes kept beyond a natural life span provide great habitat for many insects, fungi, lichens and mosses. A decaying tree with a broken branch or a small cavity can provide an ideal nest site for a bird or roost for a bat. Here are a few hints and suggestions about managing deadwood in your garden:

  • Providing they pose no risk of harm or injury, try to leave standing dead trees and shrubs to rot down naturally.
  • A log pile can benefit invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians and mammals, but make sure it is in the right place. Try to leave the wood in direct contact with the ground in dappled shade and in compact piles to maintain humidity. Avoid cutting wood into small pieces as larger diameter pieces hold most value. Please do not remove wood from woodlands and hedges - it is an important feature of these habitats.
  • In smaller gardens, terraces or balconies, lay logs alongside planters or part bury them in a tub along with some plants.

Posted in: Minibeasts on 16 June 2015

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