|Entering the stumpery at Biddulph|
Tree stumps and root systems, often collected from land clearance across a country estate, are piled up, or set into a wall, and secured with posts and metalwork to create an unusual, often unearthly, but effectively natural, structure.
The idea behind a stumpery is to create an attractive backdrop for greenery, and they are usually the home of ferns, mosses and lichens. They rose to fashion at the same time as ferns were being introduced into English gardens, around the era of the Romantic Movement - the 'natural' backlash to the Industrial Revolution. Coincidentally they are also great places for wildlife, because the rotting wood attracts various insects, which attracts birds and small mammals, and so on.
|More ferny stumps|
If you fancy creating one in your own garden it's extremely possible and there are plenty of DIY helpers online. They suggest you can even use old railway sleepers if you can't get hold of dead tree roots. But wouldn't that be a sleepery?