Setting up a compost bin or heap. By doing this you can reduce the amount of rubbish you put out for collection, and also provide a good habitat for wildlife in your garden. Compost heaps attract insects and other invertebrates, which provide food for birds. And if you have an open pile and you’re very lucky, you may get hibernating grass snakes or a hedgehog.
Some people really get involved in composting and set up deluxe systems where they stockpile different ingredients and then layer them up to form the best possible compost. Here is some basic information, but there are other organisations who could help you with this (see further information).
• You’ll need a container to put your compost in. It needs to have no base and you need to put it onto bare soil or grass so that any liquid drains into the ground. It needs a lid to stop rain getting in. A wooden box without a bottom but with a lid, made out of planks of wood, is ideal. Alternatively you can buy a plastic compost bin from a garden centre, or sometimes, more cheaply, from your local council.
• Things you can compost:
o fruit and vegetable peelings and garden waste.
o Grass clippings are good, but you should not add more than a 10 cm layer at once.
• You should avoid:
o cooked food
o diseased plants
o woody prunings, unless shredded
o weeds with seeds.
For Further information, visit www.gardenorganic.org.uk