They are valuable for hosting colonies of over-wintering ladybirds and spiders and often become temporary homes for frogs.
At times they will also generate clouds of tiny flies that provide food for birds such as wrens.
A wildlife-friendly log feature is easy to make. First assemble your ingredients. If you’ve had a tree taken down use the stump and big chunks of trunk but you are more likely already to have a mixture of branches, fruit-tree prunings and woody clippings too tough for the compost.Even sawdust and bark chippings can be used. Ready‑sawn logs for an open fire or wood-burning stove are handy too because what you really want for a working
To assemble, start with the biggest logs at the base and fill in gaps with various ingredients for a range of mini-habitats.
Pack your sawdust and bark chippings between some, put soil, gravel and small stones between others and loosely fill a few with dead leaves and dry, slender plant stems.
Leave gaps for larger creatures to stock up as they wish. Place smaller logs and branches on top plus bundles of sticks or prunings, again leaving a mixture of vacant and partly filled gaps between them.
The stack does not have to be straight and tidy, you can arrange it so it’s higher in the centre or lean it against the wall of an outbuilding but it must be stable - you don’t want the whole lot collapsing.
If it needs additional fixing hammer stout poles or fencing posts in at the corners with perhaps a long birch log across the front as a “retaining wall”.
To finish, add a few clumps of rather wild-style garden plants such as foxgloves, Rodgersia, or shrub roses. On the pile, go for sprawling varieties of hardy cranesbills and ferns or sprinkle wildflower seeds all over it and they may germinate in the spring.
The result is charming, wildlife friendly and sorts a huge garden rubbish disposal problem all in one go.