Compost in garden planter

Compost heaps

A compost heap is important in any garden. You can make your own organic compost which is great for soil and plants.

Adding a compost heap to your garden

You can use a compost heap to recycle all your kitchen and garden waste into rich, organic compost that’s great for the soil and plants. 

Compost can be used to improve the soil structure and drainage, as a mulch to cut down on water loss, and as a fertiliser to improve the soil’s fertility. Making compost is cheap and easy. You can build your own container to hold the organic matter while it decays, or buy a wooden or plastic bin.

Inside the compost, worms and fungi feed on the rotting vegetable matter. Insect predators feed on the slugs, insects and other invertebrates that are attracted to the heap. Birds visit to seek out insects and seeds. Some animals, such as smooth newts, shelter there during the day. 

RSPB composters are available from our mail order catalogue.

Make the most of your garden

  • Make sure your compost bin has no base and sits on the soil. This allows worms, insects and other creatures to get in and out.
  • Try not to add a large amount of any one material to your compost heap.
  • Add a thin layer of waste at a time and intersperse soft, leafy material with twiggy prunings.     
  • Up to 60 per cent of household waste is organic and can be recycled. Composting is good for the garden and reduces the amount of rubbish which goes to landfill.