A Busy Night at the Compost Heap

A visit to a local organic farm last winter taught me that you can compost woodchip. According to Ian Tollhurst you just spread it on the ground and turn it every 3-6 months and within two years you have compost which is good enough for potting out seeds.

Thinning the trees to allow more light in the veg patch has resulted lots of branches. Pushed through a Bosch chipping machine I now have several metres cubed of material which covers a wide area. Previously I would have hidden this under hedges or used it as a weed suppressor on the pathways.

The  pile was a uniform half metre high, held in place by a couple of felled tree trunks. As spring progressed it became more and more untidy. Someone was digging through it and scattering debris on all sides.

Here are the visitors recorded last night.

This young fox is one of several that pass through most nights. Maybe they are aware of this camera and as a consequence the others have changed their route. Not so interested in the compost.

This female deer is looking for more tasty stuff. Roses and other flowers, maybe responsible for a trampled and half eaten sunflower. In hot pursuit is a male. It looks like he chases her out of our flower garden – thanks for that! She jumps into the compost heap in her haste to escape his attention. Otherwise not so interesting in compost.

Here is the real culprit. Not shy of anything this badger is intent on the prospect of tasty insects and worms. It would be a lot more fruitful if he’d let the heap alone for a few months to allow the decomposers to multiply in their numbers and efforts.

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