A woodpile is a great habitat for insects including beetles, and you can find a surprising amount of wildlife when you look a little closer.
Woodpiles occur naturally when fallen trees decompose in woodland. As the wood begins to decay, it is colonised by fungus which begins to break down the woody fibres, softening the wood. Insects such as beetles and woodlice begin to feast on the softened wood, and birds such as woodpeckers create holes to reach the tasty grubs and larvae that hide there. The damp, shaded habitat is also perfect for newts and frogs to hide in. Eventually the wood decays completely and crumbles, and the nutrients contained have been recycled back into the local ecosystem.
Creating a woodpile in your garden can start small; gathering twigs and branches and stacking them in a dark, quiet corner of your garden is the easiest way to start. If you can get hold of them, larger logs from native trees such as birch, oak, beech, pine or alder will let you build something even bigger! You can help wildlife get established by drilling various diameter holes in the logs, and sprinkling a few handfuls of soil between the logs. Remember never to take dead wood from wild spaces – ask family or friends if you need help with supplies!
Have you built a woodpile? What creatures have you managed to attract? Come back when you’ve built your own and share your Comments below to let us know what you’ve found!
Remember to click the Like button to show you have completed this #RandomActofWildness.