Woody waste can't go in your compost heap. So what can you do with it? Here are some ideas!

Create a wildlife habitat

This is probably the simplest and easiest thing you can do. Take your logs and branches and pile them up, a shady spot works really well for this as it replicates a forest floor where these piles occur naturally.

It’s also a good way to use a part of your garden where plants don’t grow very well due the lack of light, even better if it’s a bit damp.

If you place these logs near a pond, the frogs will really thank you for it, they’ll use it to shelter in the summer and it will house the animals that frogs eat. They may also spend the winter there as frogs don't live in ponds all year round.

If you place these logs near a pond, the frogs will really thank you for it

Branches can also be piled up, hedgehogs may choose to make it their home as well as beetles and other insects. If in a pile they will take a long time to break down, if you want them to rot more quickly then spread them out and ensure they’ve got contact with the soil. As they decompose they’ll add carbon and nutrients back into the soil - as well as providing food for insects.

Get creative

You’re only limited by your imagination, we’ve seen loads of uses for waste wood and some of these include: lawn edging with chopped branches, log slices made into paths or “stepping stones”, branches sliced to make wooden coasters, branches whittled into spoons, insect houses, fairy houses, bird boxes, stools, signs, plant supports, clothes lines props, bean poles, pea sticks and walking sticks.

If you have access to a wood chipper then you can chip logs to make woodchip. If you don’t have access to one (and most of us don’t) then a local tree surgeon may be happy to chip your waste for you, either for a small fee or by bartering goods. The woodchip can be added to your compost heap, be used to create a natural path or as a mulch in your garden.

you can chip logs to make woodchip

We’d love to see your creative uses for waste wood in the garden, send in your pictures and we’ll share them on the website.

Here's a video we made with permaculturist and keen gardener, Damian Nicholls, with his top tips for using garden waste.