Condition of UK Upland Habitats

The condition of UK upland habitats has been assessed using Common Standards Monitoring Guidance for Upland Habitats. This involves making an assessment of habitat condition from a nature conservation perspective. It is based on a series of habitat characteristics or attributes and standardised condition categories.

 

Sites are judged to be in favourable condition when the objectives for the habitat are being met. Sites with habitat that is in an unsatisfactory state are classed as in unfavourable condition. Where this is the case, a judgement is made as to whether the habitat is: (i) recovering – moving towards the desired state; (ii) declining – moving away from the desired state; or (iii) no-change – neither improving nor declining. Sites are classed as destroyed (partially or completely) when the habitat is no longer present and there is no prospect of being able to restore it.

 

Condition on designated sites

The tables below summarise information on the condition of upland habitats at a UK-level as reported in 2006-07.  On sites designated as SSSI/ASSIs, the condition of virtually all the habitat types was mostly either favourable or unfavourable recovering. Nevertheless, a sizeable percentage of each was unfavourable and did not show signs of recovery. The condition of upland habitats on SACs was generally poorer. Information from SACs on upland habitats recognised under the EU Habitats Directive showed that the condition of these types varied greatly. Although in some cases most of the habitat was in favourable or unfavourable recovering condition, for others a large part was unfavourable with no signs of recovery.  Note that the condition of some upland habitats has since improved (e.g. see The State of the Natural Environment 2008).

 

Tables of condition of UK upland habitats

Click on the habitat links in the table for details – based on data from the Common Standards Monitoring for Designated Sites: First Six Year Report (2006) and the 2nd UK Report on Implementation of the Habitats Directive (2007)

 

A. Sites designated as SSSI/ASSIs

 

Favourable

Unfavourable recovering

Unfavourable not recovering

Destroyed or part destroyed

Blanket bog

58%

15%

27%

0%

Limestone pavement, inland cliffs and screes

56%

14%

29%

1%

Fens and marshes - upland

46%

18%

34%

2%

Montane grasslands and heaths

45%

10%

45%

0%

Upland calcareous grassland

25%

34%

38%

3%

Upland heathland

21%

28%

48%

3%

 

B. Sites designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)

 

Favourable

Unfavourable recovering

Unfavourable not recovering

Destroyed or part destroyed

Limestone pavement, inland cliffs and screes

59%

20%

20%

1%

Fens and marshes - upland

45%

19%

36%

0%

Blanket bog

45%

14%

39%

2%

Montane grasslands and heaths

27%

12%

61%

0%

Upland heathland

19%

21%

57%

3%

Upland calcareous grassland

15%

20%

65%

0%

 

C. Sites designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) – broken down into EU Habitats Directive Annex I types

 

Favourable

Unfavourable recovering

Unfavourable not recovering

Inland rock, outcrop and scree habitats

 

 

 

H8220 Siliceous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation

84%

11%

5%

H8120 Calcareous and calcshist screes of the montane to alpine levels (Thalaspietea rotundifolii)

61%

26%

13%

H8110 Siliceous scree of the montane to snow levels (Androsacetalia alpinae and Galeopsietalia ladani)

56%

17%

27%

H6430 Hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities of plains and of the montane to alpine levels

54%

41%

5%

H8210 Calcareous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation

43%

10%

47%

Mountain heaths and willow scrub

 

 

 

H6150 Siliceous alpine and boreal grassland

60%

3%

37%

H4060 Alpine and boreal heaths

37%

16%

47%

H4080 Sub-Arctic Salix scrub

14%

29%

57%

Blanket bog & Upland flushes, fens and swamps

 

 

 

H7140 Transition mires and quaking bogs

58%

10%

32%

H7150 Depressions on peat substrates of the Rhynchosporion

43%

26%

31%

H7130 Blanket Bogs

38%

19%

43%

H7240 Alpine pioneer formations of the Caricion bicoloris-atrofuscae

31%

5%

64%

H7220 Petrifying springs with tufa formation

5%

24%

71%

H7230 Alkaline fens

5%

31%

64%

Calaminarian grassland

 

 

 

H6130 Calaminarian grasslands of the Violetalia calaminariae

53%

31%

16%

Upland calcareous grasslands

 

 

 

H6170 Alpine and subalpine calcareous grasslands

24%

-

76%

H6230 Species-rich Nardus grassland, on siliceous substrates in mountain areas (and submountain areas in continental Europe)

3%

1%

96%

H6210 Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies: on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia)

[most of this habitat occurs in the lowlands]

[1%]

[96%]

[3%]

Upland heathlands

 

 

 

H4010 Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix

21%

28%

51%

H4030 European dry heaths

6%

28%

66%

Limestone Pavements

 

 

 

H8240 Limestone Pavements

3%

52%

45%

 

[all tables created Jan 2011]