Make a Log Pile for Stag Beetles & More Garden Wildlife

11 months ago

Gardens can serve as sanctuaries for an array of fascinating creatures. By constructing a simple log pile, you can turn your garden into a bustling hub of biodiversity. Here’s how to do it right, ensuring your garden benefits both visually and ecologically.

Benefits of a Log Pile

At its essence, a log pile is a multi-tiered sanctuary for various garden inhabitants. Ranging from invertebrates and amphibians to small mammals, these creatures find solace in the damp nooks and crannies a log pile offers. As the wood decays over time, it attracts an even greater range of wildlife, adding layers of life to your garden.

Constructing Your Log Pile

Materials Required:

  • Logs
  • Sticks
  • Dry leaves
  • Loose bark


  1. Select the Ideal Location: Choose a damp, shaded spot in your garden. Moisture and shade are essential for creating the perfect habitat.
  2. Lay the Foundation: Start by laying down a base layer of logs.
  3. Stabilise with Sticks: Push sturdy sticks into the ground on both sides of your base logs. This prevents them from rolling.
  4. Add Insulation: Fill the gaps between your logs with dry leaves.
  5. Layer with Bark: Introduce a layer of loose bark.
  6. Build it Up: Continue layering logs, sticks, bark, and leaves. Aim for a pyramid shape for maximum stability, ensuring the heaviest logs are at the bottom.
  7. Keep it Hydrated: Water your log pile during dry periods to maintain its dampness.

Enhancing Your Log Pile

  • Source Responsibly: When getting logs, use pruned branches or ask neighbours for offcuts. Avoid taking from natural habitats as this may disrupt existing ecosystems.
  • Beautify with Plants: Encourage shade-loving plants like primroses and ferns to grow around your log pile. This offers more shelter and adds aesthetic appeal.
  • Submerge the Base: For a more diverse habitat, consider burying the initial layer of logs slightly.

Helping Protect Stag Beetles

For those in Southeast England, you have the unique opportunity to help stag beetles. Stag beetles are a globally threatened species, they are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and listed as a priority species for conservation in the UK and specifically London Biodiversity Action Plans

Loggeries for stag beetles are a bit different to log piles for garden wildlife listed above – as well as being in a shaded area, they should have the logs buried upright in the soil around 50cm deep, the logs should at least be as thick as an adult’s arm and be from broadleaved wood. There should be space in between the logs filled with soil. This is often called a log pyramid, loggery or a stumpery for stag beetles.

If you have a small garden, even burying one thick log upright could help stag beetles, the perfect chance to do your bit for the environment even with limited space.

Glendale Lewisham volunteer building a stag beetle logger
Glendale Lewisham volunteer building a stag beetle logger

Glendale’s Commitment to Wildlife

As stewards of the environment, Glendale takes pride in its approach to grounds maintenance, ensuring all services are conducted without disturbing precious wildlife habitats. Not only this, but our passionate volunteers have been instrumental in building loggeries for stag beetles in Lewisham, reinforcing our commitment to nature.

Remember, every log pile, no matter how small, contributes significantly to the garden’s ecosystem. Let’s nurture our gardens, for they in turn nurture life in its many beautiful forms.

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