With Steph Summerell of Change4 Chal­font

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GREEN SPACES -

AU­TUMN is such a busy time of year in the The list of tasks seems end­less and on top of that the trees are shed­ding their leaves, cre­at­ing yet another one. It’s easy to re­gard the col­lec­tion of fallen leaves as a nui­sance and con­sign them to the wheelie bin in ir­ri­ta­tion. But I would like to en­cour­age you to view them as a valu­able re­source that is not to be wasted.

If left to de­com­pose, leaves turn into leaf­mould. Na­ture’s pa­tient, un­seen de­com­posers set to work and to­gether with time pro­duce a won­der­ful com­post. I think of it as gar­dener’s gold.

Oak, beech and horn­beam leaves make the best qual­ity leaf­mould and break down the quick­est. Thicker leaves such as sycamore, wal­nut, horse ch­est­nut and sweet ch­est­nut onger. Conifer and ever­green es can take 2-3 years to com­pose, so are best avoided nless you’re very pa­tient!

Col­lect leaves when they are wet, or sprin­kle with wa­ter to dampen them and leave them n a shady spot in an out of the way cor­ner. If you have the om you can buy or make a e mesh con­tainer for your

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