Other welcomes

DIY projects that add to the welcome

we advise and construct | you and wildlife enjoy

DIY projects more than Welcome Wildlife projects

1 - construct a non-smell, compost heap - counts as a 'Doubling up'

This idea came from the RSPB Garden For Wildlife book by Adrian Thomas
  • the key to a wildlife friendly compost heap is that it doesn't need turning over with a fork which obviously risks any inhabitants
    • compost heaps constructed of alternating layers of carbon and nitrogen don't smell so don't need turning or forking
      • carbon - hay and straw, sticks/ twigs, dead leaves, teabags, wood chippings, eggshells
      • nitrogen - grass cuttings, annual weeds, horse and chicken manure, vegetable and orange peel
      • don't add - meat or bones, cooked vegetable, perennial wees, bread, cooked rice, diseased plants, pet waste

  • minimum size of a cubic metre to generate enough heat (cover with a layer of old carpet to keep the heat in)

  • construct on a square of small size mesh so rodents don't burrow up to set up home
    • (can still access from the sides but are less likely to call it home unless can burrow a hole)
    • ensure you heap is off the ground by constructing it on logs so that amphibians and snakes can enter for warmth
    • sides of panels of wood with small gaps so a little air gets in but most of the heat is retained

  • sprinkle with water during very hot weather

What benefit from compost heaps and wood piles?

Toads
European toad (bufo bufo)
toads live in shady, slightly damp areas ie under rocks or logs.   Clearly they appreciate shelter when they hibernate.
For easy identification - a frog hops and a toad walks
Reptiles
harmless grass snalke (Natrix natrix)
reptiles can be attracted by the warmth of a compost heap, to the shelter of a wood pile or for food.  The large but harmless grass snake (Natrix natrix) shown, usually hibernates amongst logs
Bugs and beetles
stag beelte (Lucanus cervus)
bugs and beetles aren't everybody's favourite but they have a big part to play in breaking down plant matter, old wood etc. and ensuring it goes back where it belongs, in the soil.   Here, a stag beetle

2 - making a wood pile- counts as a 'Doubling up' - big-time

  • build a pile of wood, perhaps with a few logs partially buried and/ or a couple of spade loads of earth thrown at it
    • alternatively, build a neat stack or row, a few logs high
      • even better if an ivy or a few plants grow over some of it
      • place a few more logs on it, or near it, every few years to replace those rotting
      • do not disturb

  • amphibians (toads and newts), reptiles (lizards and snakes), hedgehogs, bugs and beetles will call this home