13 November 2009
In the churchyard next door there are a lot of leaves - an awful lot of leaves. These are being swept up, bagged up and thrown on the dustcart as they are every year. What a waste! Every year I try to get as many as possible brought into the garden to stack till they break down to leafmould. The only problem with this is that they are all plane tree leaves, tough, leathery, slow to rot down and even the best method needs eighteen months for any success. This takes up a lot of space that we don't have to spare.
I have had fourteen dumpy ton bags stuffed with leaves stacked under the walnut tree while i thought creatively about dead leaves and hibernaculums and with my love of poultry and lacewings the answer was always going to be clucking obvious really.
Now five fat leaf chickens are home to hibernating insects.