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[VIDEO] How to build a compost heap

  • Wildlife Connections Guide
  • Difficulty - High - Adult focused

Compost heaps are great place for wildlife like slugs, snails, beetles, worms, and other creatures to feed - these then help attract other wildlife like frogs, toads, hedgehogs and birds. It also helps you recycle your garden waste.

Download this guide in a handy PDF here.

What you'll need

  • Wooden pallets
  • Posts
  • Sledge hammer
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • An extra pair of hands

All you need to do is

  1. Put an upright pallet where you want the back of your compost heap to be
  2. Slot two posts into the pallet to keep it upright
  3. Use the sledge hammer to knock in the posts
  4. Do the same at right angles at each end of the pallet to make two sides
  5. Use the screwdriver to put screws through the pallet into each post to keep it sturdy
  6. Attach half a pallet to the front
  7. Gradually fill with a mixture of soft and woody material
  8. Wait to see what wildlife comes to visit!

Things to remember

1. Compost needs warmth, moisture and oxygen so…

  • Build your compost heap in a spot that catches the sun for a bit of each day, but not for too long or it will dry out.
  • Putting a piece of carpet on top of the material can help it not dry out. You might need to add a bit of rainwater if it does get too dry.
  • Carefully turn your compost sometimes so that oxygen can get in.

2. Make sure your compost sits on the soil so that worms and other bugs can get up into your compost.

3. Make sure you put a good mixture of woody and soft materials on your compost heap, not too much of one thing.

What to do next

Check out some of our other guides, such as how to help nesting swallows, or how to help nesting swifts.

And don't forget to keep recording the wildlife you see in your local area here: www.chesterzoo.org/record