Abdomen – A region of the body. In VERTEBRATES this is the part of the body that contains all the internal organs except for the heart and lungs. In most ARTHROPODS this is the hind region of the body.

Abstraction – Removal of water from a WATERCOURSE or WATERBODY (e.g. for use in industry).

Acidification – Changes in chemistry in an area that lead to a more acidic environment (e.g. acid rain).

Accretion – Gradual increase in size through addition of material.

Aculeate – Prickly or stinging. For example, ‘aculeate hymenoptera’ are insects of the division HYMENOPTERA that have stings (bees, ants and wasps).

Adaptation - A change in a characteristic of an ORGANISM that makes it better suited to survive in a particular ENVIRONMENT.

Afforestation – Planting of large areas with trees.

Agenda 21 – See LOCAL AGENDA 21.

Agricultural intensification - The movement towards increasing farm production by use of AGROCHEMICALS and mechanisation.

Agri-environment - Relating to the incentive payments that are available to farmers to voluntarily pursue less intensive forms of agriculture that are of benefit to the environment.

Agrochemical – Synthetic chemicals used in modern agriculture such as chemical fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, etc.

Alien species – A species that does not normally occur in an area but which has been deliberately or accidentally introduced by human activity (e.g. Rhododendron planted by the Victorians in many Lancashire woodlands as cover for GAME).

Allotment – In relation to MOORLAND habitats, this term means land that has been taken from the moorland and enclosed for grazing or holding LIVESTOCK (e.g. Yealand Hall Allotment).

Amenity planting – Planting trees and shrubs for non-commercial purposes, for example, planting trees not primarily as a crop but for landscaping reasons.

Ancient Woodland – Woodland that has existed since at least 1600 AD.

Annual – A plant that completes its life cycle in a single growing season.

Aphid - A type of soft-bodied insect that feeds on plant sap. Many species are tended by ants that feed on the HONEYDEW the aphids produce. Greenfly and blackfly are types of aphid.

Arable - Farming system in which crop plants (e.g. CEREALS) are raised rather than LIVESTOCK.

Arable Stewardship - An AGRI-ENVIRONMENT grant scheme that has been piloted in East Anglia and Shropshire, providing incentives to ARABLE farmers.

Arable weed - A group of wild plants associated with ARABLE farmland. Some plants in this category were once so common that they were formerly regarded as agricultural pests but have declined dramatically with the onset of AGRICULTURAL INTENSIFICATION. Examples of once-common species that are now scarce include the cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) and certain species of poppies (Papaver spp.).

Arboreal – Tree-dwelling or connected with trees.

Arboriculture – The cultivation and management of individual trees. (Compare with ‘Silviculture’).

Archaeology – The study of human antiquities.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) – A designation given to land by the COUNTRYSIDE AGENCY in recognition of the attractiveness of its landscape (under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, 1949).

Arthropod - A highly diverse group of INVERTEBRATE animals all with jointed limbs. It includes insects (e.g. butterflies), crustaceans (e.g. crabs) and arachnids (e.g. spiders).

Asexual reproduction - Any form of reproduction in which new individuals are derived from a single parent.

Assemblage – A collection of plants and/or animals that is chracteristic of a particular habitat or environment.

Atmospheric deposition – Deposition of chemicals on the land from the air. Nitrates, for example, that occur in the atmosphere (either produced naturally in thunderstorms or released by industrial processes) may be washed out into the soil in rainwater or other forms of precipitation.

Bankside – On the side of a river or steam bank.

Basal rosette – A term used in describing the form in which certain plants develop and grow. Their leaves emerge in a whorl from very close to the surface of the ground. This may be an adaptation to avoid the growing point being grazed by large animals.

Base-rich – Containing an abundance of basic (i.e. less acidic) materials. Soils derived from LIMESTONES, for example, tend to be base-rich and are more alkaline than acidic.

Berne Convention – An international treaty signed by 40 nations. Formally it is called the 'Convention on the conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats. Bern/Berne 19.IX.1979.' Its stated aim is to "conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats". The UK is a signatory to this treaty which came into force in 1982. The Convention requires parties to give special attention to the conservation of species listed in the treaty's appendices numbered I, II and III.

Biodiversity – "The variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems." (United Nations Biodiversity Convention 1992)

Biodiversity Action Plan – A plan, programme or strategy for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

Biodiversity indicator – Indicators are quantified information that help to explain how things are changing over time. Biodiversity indicators are intended as one measure of how the natural world is responding to human-induced impacts. For this reason they are able to gauge of the effectiveness of policies that aim at SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

Biological Heritage Site (BHS) – Non-statutory wildlife sites in Lancashire.

Biological Heritage Site Guidelines – The published criteria for designating BIOLOGICAL HERITAGE SITES [Morries, G., Jepson, P. & Bruce, N. (1998) ‘Biological Heritage Sites – Guidelines for Site Selection’. Lancashire County Council, Preston].

Biomass - The total weight of living matter in a POPULATION.

Blanket bog – a peatland formed in areas of high rainfall, covering large areas of flat and gently sloping ground.

Bog – A peatland MIRE that receives water only from precipitation (rain, snow, fog, etc.) and is as a result NUTRIENT-poor.

Bonn Convention - An international treaty formally called the 'Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals.' Its stated aim is the "conservation of endangered and threatened species which undergo cyclic and predictable migration across one or more national boundaries". The Convention requires parties to give special attention to the conservation of species in appendix I (where these occur in their territory) and to conclude agreements with other parties to protect other species (listed in appendix II) that are in 'unfavourable conservation status'.

Botany- The study of plants.

Boulder clay – GLACIAL clays, sands and gravels such as overlie much of the coastal zone of Morecambe Bay. This type of sediment (which is also known as ‘till’) is composed of material that has been brought together by the direct agency of GLACIER ice.

Bracken – A species of fern (Pteridium aquilinum) that forms large stands.

Brackish - Slightly salty water such as that found in a river near its discharge point into the sea.

Breeding Bird Survey - A joint project organised by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Joint Nature Conservancy Council (JNCC) and the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds). The Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) organises volunteer surveyors to record the species of birds breeding in 1 km squares chosen at random each year by computer. The aim is to monitor in a rigorous and scientific way the changing fortunes of Britain's wild bird populations.

Broad habitat – A category used in the UK BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN to indicate a collection of habitats that are broadly similar in nature (e.g. ‘Broadleaved, yew and mixed woodland’). Such a category may encompass several PRIORITY HABITATS.

Broadleaved - Any tree that is not a CONIFER.

Brood - (1) All of the offspring that hatch from a single clutch of eggs. (2) To incubate eggs.

Bryophytes – The group of plants that includes MOSSES and LIVERWORTS. Members of the group do not have a 'vascular' system of vessels for conducting liquids (Compare with VASCULAR PLANT). They are anchored to the substrate by 'rhizoids' that differ from true roots because they lack conducting vessels.

Bug - Strictly, insects of the ORDER 'HEMIPTERA' with sucking or piercing mouthparts. However, this term is often applied unscientifically to many types of insect or invertebrate.

Calcareous – Rich in the chemical compound calcium carbonate (CaCO3). For example, calcareous grassland develops on soils derived from calcium carbonate-rich rocks such as LIMESTONE.

Canalisation – Engineering to constrain rivers or streams to a particular course.

Canopy - The branches, leaves, etc. formed by woody plants (trees, shrubs) some way above the ground.

Carboniferous - The geological era that spanned the period 345 - 280 million years before the present. It is so-named because it is the time during which much of Britain's coal measures were laid down.

Carnivorous - Meat-eating.

Carr - Wet woodland containing trees like willows (Salix spp.) and alder (Alnus glutinosa).

Carrion - Dead and rotting carcasses of animals.

Caterpillar - The LARVAL stage of butterflies and moths.

Cell - All living ORGANISMS are composed of membrane-bound units known as cells. MICRO-ORGANISMS may be composed of single cells whereas there are a million million cells in a human being.

Cereal - Grass that produces an edible grain (e.g. oats, wheat, barley).

Cetacean – The ORDER of mammals that includes whales and dolphins.

Chain-harrowing - HARROWING with chains drawn by a tractor.

Chick - A young bird that has recently hatched from the egg.

Chromosome - The structures within cells that carry the GENETIC material.

CITES - Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species. The main international treaty that regulates the sale of exotic animal an plant species.

Clint – Flat top of a block of LIMESTONE PAVEMENT.

Climax – A plant community determined and maintained in a given area by the prevailing climatic and soil conditions – essentially those which would develop and be present in the absence of human intervention.

Clough – A term used in northern England for a small steep-sided valley.

Coastal dynamics - The processes that shape the coast (e.g. ACCRETION).

Cobble – A rounded rock fragment that is smaller than a boulder but larger than a pebble.

Colony - A group of animals or plants living together and dependent on each other to a greater or lesser extent (e.g. a colony of ants).

Colour-ring - A special ring attached to a bird's foot for the purposes of a particular study. These rings differ from the normal metal rings that record information for the purposes of tracking bird migration, etc.

Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) - The framework for the agricultural policies of all member states in the European Union (EU). As an EU member, the UK is obliged to adhere to CAP rules in setting its own agricultural policies.

Compartment - A sub-division of a site for management purposes usually applied to parts of a nature reserve recognised in the reserve's management plan.

Conifer - Cone-bearing trees or shrubs that are mostly EVERGREEN. There are only three native conifers in Britain: Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris); Yew (Taxus baccata) and Juniper (Juniperus communis). Many non-native conifers, however, have been planted in this country for commercial purposes.

Constant Effort (Bird ringing) site – A site at which birds are caught and ringed year after year in order to study patterns in numbers and migration.

Contiguous - Very near or touching.

Coppice - woodland where coppicing takes place.

Coppicing - A form of woodland management where trees (e.g. hazel) are cut regularly on a cycle to promote growth from their bases. Products that may be harvested from a coppice include wooden poles or materials for hurdle or fence making.

Copse – A small wood.

Countryside Agency – A STATUTORY AGENCY established in 1999 to "conserve and enhance the countryside, promote social equity and economic opportunity for the people who live there and to help everyone, wherever they live to enjoy this national asset." (‘The State of the Countryside 1999’ – Countryside Agency, Cheltenham).

Countryside Character Area – In 1996, a number of STATUTORY AGENCIES collaborated to produce a map of England that depicts "the natural and cultural dimensions of the landscape". This divided the country into 181 ‘Character Areas’ that reflect "landscape, wildlife and natural features". (See also NATURAL AREAS).

Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000) - See CROW Act.

Countryside Stewardship Agreement - The formal 10 year management agreement contracted between the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF) and a person receiving COUNTRYSIDE STEWARDSHIP SCHEME grants.

Countryside Stewardship Scheme - A grant scheme administered by MAFF that provides annual payments to landowners or tenants for positive environmental management. This Scheme operates outside of ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE AREAS.

Critically endangered - See ENDANGERED.

Crop - Cultivated plants such as CEREALS, vegetables or fruit plants.

Cropping regime - The way in which crops are grown (e.g. CROP ROTATION).

Crop rotation - A system for maximising soil fertility by alternating the CROPS grown in particular fields over the course of more than one season.

CROW Act - The Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000) . New legislation that contains new provisions for access in the countryside and for protection of SITES OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST.

Cultivation - Preparation of land to grow crops.

Culvert - A drain or pipe that carries a WATERCOURSE under a road, railway or other built structure.

Cypripedium - A GENUS of orchids that includes the lady's slipper-orchid.

Dairy – Relating to the production of milk or milk products (e.g. butter, cheese). Dairy cattle, for example, are cows kept for the production of milk as distinct from beef cattle that are raised for their meat.

Deciduous - Trees or shrubs that shed their leaves in the autumn. (Compare with EVERGREEN).

Development control - The statutory land-use planning system in the UK. For most types of large-scale built development, planning permission is required from the relevant LOCAL AUTHORITY.

Dextral - Right handed. (The way in which the shells coil in some snail species, for example, may be termed 'dextral'.)

Diptera - A large and varied ORDER of insects that is made up of all two-winged flies.

Dipterist - A person that studies two-winged flies.

Disadvantaged Area - See LESS FAVOURED AREA.

Disinfectant - A substance that destroys harmful germs.

Dispersal - The tendency of an ORGANISM to move away from the place where it was born or the site where it breeds.

Diver – Member of a FAMILY of birds (Gaviidae) that dive from the surface of water to feed on fish, INVERTEBRATES or other prey. Includes birds such as the ‘great northern diver’ (Gavia immer).

Donor site - The site from which individuals of a SPECIES are taken in order to be introduced to another place (the 'RECEPTOR SITE').

Dredging - Removal of mud or silt from a WATERBODY or WATERCOURSE.

Drystone wall - A stone wall built without mortar.

Earth Summit - The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. The first one was held in Rio de Janiero in 1992. At this conference, the UK's Prime Minister signed the BIODIVERSITY CONVENTION and AGENDA 21 on behalf of this country.

Echolocation - The determination of the position of an object from the direction of an echo reflected from the object and/or the time taken for the echo to return. This technique is used by bats to locate insect prey.

Ecology - The study of living organisms in relation to their environment.

Ecosystem - A unit consisting of living and non-living components interacting to produce a stable system (e.g. a woodland or grassland).

Enclosure - An area of land that is walled or fenced.

Endangered - TAXA in danger of extinction and whose survival is unlikely if the causal factors continue operating.

Endemic - Only occurring in a particular area, country or region. For example, the Lancaster whitebeam is endemic to the Morecambe Bay area.

Endoparasite - A parasite that lives inside its host rather than externally.

Entomologist - A person who studies insects.

Entomology - The study of insects.

Environment - The natural world of land, sea, air, plants and animals. The term is also used in a wider sense to mean all the surroundings in which people live and work.

Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) - An area designated by the government under EU regulations where landowners and tenants are eligible to claim for payments for certain types of management that will benefit landscape or wildlife features within the ESA. There are currently no ESAs in Lancashire.

Escarpment – The steep slope that terminates a plateau or any level upland area of land.

Estuary - The mouth of a river where it broadens into the sea and within which there is tidal ebb and flow. Estuaries are areas where there is an intermingling of salt and freshwater. Material suspended in river water may be deposited in the estuary to create mudflats or sandflats.

EU Birds Directive – Council Directive of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds (79/409/EEC).

EU Directive – A legal instruction from the European Union that is binding on member states but which leaves the method of implementation to national governments.

EU Habitats Directive – See HABITATS DIRECTIVE

EU Habitats and Species Directive – This is the formal title of the HABITATS DIRECTIVE.

EU Life Project – See LIFE PROJECT.

Eutrophic - Nutrient enriched.

Eutrophication - The process whereby an ecosystem becomes nutrient enriched. Usually the term is used in relation to freshwater aquatic systems. It may be caused by pollution from agricultural or urban RUN-OFF.

Evergreen - Trees or shrubs that bear leaves all year round (Compare with DECIDUOUS).

Extant - Existing or surviving.

Family - A unit used in the classification of animals and plants. It consists of a group of closely-related GENERA or, more rarely, a single GENUS.

Fauna - All the animal species that occur in a particular region.

Favourable condition - The desirable state for a site to be in for conservation purposes.

Favourable (conservation) status - The desirable status of a POPULATION for conservation purposes.

Fen - A MIRE that receives water from the surrounding land (unlike a BOG) and hence nutrients from rocks and soils. Because of this, a fen supports different communities of plants and animals than a BOG.

Fertiliser- A substance such as animal manure or an artificial chemical that is added to soil to increase its productivity for crops.

Fixed dune – A dune that has become stabilised by vegetation and is to a large extent, as a result, protected from further erosion by wind action.

Fledge - To develop feathers.

Fledgling - A young bird that has grown feathers.

Flora - All the plant species that make up the vegetation of an area.

Flush - A type of FEN irrigated by a SPRING or SOAKWAY.

Focal species - A species that is the focus of conservation effort.

Food plant – A particular plant species favoured by a specific animal. For example, hare's-tail cotton-grass is the food plant of the large heath CATERPILLAR.

Foraging - Behaviour associated with obtaining or consuming food.

Foreshore - The lower zone of a beach extending between low-water spring-tide level and high-water spring-tide level.

Forewing - One of the pair of wings nearest the head in insects such as butterflies, moths and dragonflies (Compare with HINDWING).

Form - (1) Scrape made by a hare in which to spend the day. (2) See SUB-SPECIES.

Fyke net - A net used to catch eels.

Gait - Manner of walking.

Game - Mammals, birds or fish hunted for sport and/or food.

Game bag - Record of game taken from a particular place.

Gene - A part of a CHROMOSOME in the CELLS of an ORGANISM that controls the inheritance of a particular trait or characteristic. For example, in humans there are genes that control eye colour.

Genetic - Relating to GENES or GENETICS.

Genetics - The study of GENES and of inheritance and variation in ORGANISMS.

Genus - A unit used in the classification of plants and animals. It consists of a grouping of closely related SPECIES. When the SCIENTIFIC NAME for a particular species is given the name of the genus (the 'generic name') is given first e.g. the lady's slipper orchid - Cypripedium calceolus - belongs to the genus called 'CYPRIPEDIUM'.

Geology - The study of the earth's crust and its rocks.

Glacial - Relating to GLACIERS.

Glacier - A slowly moving mass of ice formed by an accumulation of snow. During the last ICE AGE there were glaciers in Britain.

Glade - A clearing in a woodland.

Globally threatened - A category of threat that indicates that a TAXON is threatened on a world scale.

Grike - A cleft or fissure created by the action of water along a line of weakness in LIMESTONE rock.

Grip - A MOORLAND drainage ditch.

Ground Game - Rabbits and hares.

Ground Game Act (1880) - The main law governing the hunting of GROUND GAME.

Groundwater - Water that occupies spaces in rocks of the earth's crust including water that percolates through soil.

Growth pattern - The characteristic way in which a particular ORGANISM grows.

Groyne – An artificial construction built out into the sea in order to keep material on a beach.

Habitat - The place in which an animal or plant lives.

Habitat Action Plan – A 10-15 year plan which sets objectives and targets for the maintenance or enhancement of a particular habitat, and the actions necessary to achieve them. Present in both the UK BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN and LOCAL BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLANS.

Habitats Directive - The 'Habitats and Species Directive' is an EU DIRECTIVE that aims to enhance and encourage BIODIVERSITY conservation within the European Union. Its full name is 'Council Directive of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of habitats and of wild fauna and flora (92/43/EEC)'.

Habitats Regulations – Legislation that gives force to the HABITATS DIRECTIVE in UK law.

Habitat Scheme – A former grant scheme administered by MAFF that was available to farmers to manage their land for increased benefit to wildlife.

Hair tube - A device/method for surveying for certain MAMMAL species that relies upon animals leaving hair on the sticky surfaces of tubes that are baited with food or left on commonly-used pathways.

Hare Protection Act (1911) – A law that regulates the hunting of hares in the UK (See GROUND GAME ACT)

Harrow - To break up clods of earth on heavy ground.

Hay meadow - An enclosed grassland which is cut two or three times in the summer to produce a crop of hay to be fed to LIVESTOCK.

Headland - On farms, headlands are small areas of SEMI-NATURAL habitat (e.g. rough grassland) that extend into cropped areas.

Hemiptera - See BUG.

Herb - Any non-woody VASCULAR PLANT.

Herbicide - A chemical that kills plants or suppresses plant growth.

Herbivore - A plant-eater.

Herbivorous - Plant-eating.

Heritage Lottery Fund - The Heritage Lottery Fund uses money raised by the national lottery to give grants for projects that benefit the public by safeguarding the natural and built environment and helping people to enjoy this heritage.

Hibernation - A period of inactivity that occurs in some MAMMALS and other VERTEBRATES during winter. It is an ADAPTATION to conserve energy when there is little food available.

High Forest - Woodland managed to allow the majority of trees to reach maturity. (Compare with COPPICE).

Hindwing - One of the pair of wings behind those nearest the head (FOREWING) in insects such as butterflies, moths and dragonflies.

Hinterland – The region lying inland of a coastline.

Honeydew - A sugar-rich substance exuded by APHIDS and some other sap-sucking BUGS.

Hotspot – An area with a high concentration of BIODIVERSITY.

Hoverfly - Two-winged (or 'true') flies of the FAMILY 'SYRPHIDAE'. The adults are often brightly coloured insects with great flying and hovering ability (See DIPTERA).

Hybrid - An ORGANISM that is produced from a cross between parents from two distinct SPECIES.

Hydraulic connection – Connected by shared GROUNDWATER.

Hymenoptera - An insect ORDER that includes ants, bees and wasps.

Ice Age – Any period in the Earth’s history during which the polar ice sheets cover much greater areas than they do today. During the last ice age (about 10,00 yaers ago) GLACIERS covered much of Britain, for example.

Impoundment – Confine in a reservoir.

Improved grassland - Agriculturally improved grassland is grassland whose yield of grass is increased by human intervention. This may take the form of the application of FERTILISERS and/or HERBICIDES and/or ploughing the land and re-seeding it with faster-growing grass varieties. In the case of wet areas, the land may be drained. While such measures will increase grassland productivity it usually results in a decrease in the plant SPECIES-RICHNESS

In-breeding – Breeding between closely-related parents.

In-bye – Enclosed grassland close to a farm.


Insect - The largest CLASS of ARTHROPODS. An insect's body is divided into three parts: head; THORAX and ABDOMEN. Three pairs of jointed legs are borne on the thorax, which is the location in many insects for a pair of wings. There are an estimated.

Insecticide - A chemical substance that kills INSECTS.

Insectivorous - INSECT-eating.

In situ – On site.



Interpretation – Provision of information about a site or area (e.g. through fixed signs).

Invasive – Colonising an area from outside.

Invertebrate – An animal without a backbone.

Inundation – Flooding.

Kamenitza – A small depression, a few metres in diameter and several centimetres deep, in a level surface of calcareous rock like LIMESTONE. These features are caused by standing water slowly dissolving the rock.

Larva - A stage in the life cycle of an INSECT following emergence from the egg in those species where the young insect is markedly different from the adult. A good example is a CATERPILLAR.

Leaf litter - An accumulation of dead plant remains on the soil surface.

Leaf margin - The edge of a leaf.

Less Favoured Area (LFA) – Areas (usually in the uplands) where agricultural subsidies are available to LIVESTOCK farmers to help maintain economically-viable farming in parts of the countryside with low returns. The LFAs are split into DISADVANTAGED AREAS (DAs) and SEVERELY DISADVANTAGED AREAS (SDAs) with corresponding rates of payment (higher on the whole in SDAs than in DAs.

Leveret - A young hare.

Ley – A short term grass PASTURE, often cut for SILAGE or hay. It is sown to last for one or more years, after which it is ploughed up and replaced with another crop.

Lichen – A composite plant comprised of an ALGA and a FUNGUS growing together in an intimate association. Lichens are often found in patches on tree trunks, bare ground , rocks and walls. They can be sensitive INDICATORS of POLLUTION.

Life cycle - The various stages of development through which ORGANISMS of a SPECIES pass from the fertilised egg of one generation through to the same stage in the next generation.

Life expectancy - The length of time that a particular ORGANISM is expected to live.

LIFE Project – A Project that makes use of European Union ‘LIFE’ funding.

LIFE Fund (L’instrument Financier pour l’Environnement) – A European Union (EU) fund that has been established to assist the development and implementation of the EU’s environmental policies.

Limestone - A type of rock formed mainly from carbonate minerals such as Calcite (the crystalline form of calcium carbonate).

Limestone Pavement - A mass of flat, bare limestone that has been smoothed by GLACIAL action. Typically, pavements are divided into flat blocks (known as 'CLINTS') by fissures worn by water (called 'GRIKES').

Limestone Pavement Order - LIMESTONE PAVEMENTS of special interest in England, Scotland and Wales can be protected under a Limestone Pavement Order (LPO) which designates an area and prohibits the removal or disturbance of the limestone. LPOS are made under Section 34 of the WILDLIFE AND COUNTRYSIDE ACT 1981.

Litter - See LEAF LITTER.

Liverwort - A group of BRYOPHYTES, the members of which are not differentiated into stem and leaves (Compare with MOSSES).

Livestock – Animals kept on a farm (e.g. sheep and cows).

Livestock unit – Method of describing different LIVESTOCK types and age groups based on their energy requirements. Standard ratios are used, commonly based around one livestock unit equalling one Friesian dairy cow.

Local Agenda 21 (LA21) – At the EARTH SUMMIT a programme of local action was agreed to achieve SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENTin the twenty-first century. This was ‘Agenda 21’. LA21 is the UK response to this with local government expected to take the lead in promoting action at a local community level.

Local Authority – A local council.

Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) – A BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN (BAP) produced for an area at a smaller scale than a national BAP.

Local Nature Reserve (LNR) - A nature reserve designated by a LOCAL AUTHORITY under the National Parks and Access to the Countrysid Act (194

Local Nature Reserve Grant Scheme - A grant scheme established in 2000 and administered by English Nature that is available to "enhance the biodiversity values of LNRs and contribute to the delivery of Local Biodiversity Action Plans".

Local Plan - A STATUTORY land-use planning document (required under Sections 30 and 32 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended). The Local Plan sets out detailed development policies for town and country planning in non-metropolitan areas. Each district of Lancashire has one that is coordinated and produed by the local authority responsible for development control matters.

Long Term – A defined timescale over which certain actions are to be carried out. For the purposes of this plan it is defined as "ideally to be completed 10 years from the start of the plan's implementation but certainly within 15 years". (See SHORT TERM, MEDIUM TERM, ONGOING).

Low-intensity farming – Farming practices that do not employ many of the INTENSIVE methods. See AGRICULTURAL INTENSIFICATION.

Low Risk – Near Threatened – A relatively low risk category that describes the status of a particular SPECIES. (Compare with ENDANGERED, VULNERABLE or RARE).

Macrophyte – An aquatic plant that can be seen without the aid of a microscope.

Management agreement – A documented contract agreement between an official body (e.g. MAFF) and landowners and tenants regarding their management of land. Such agreements are a prerequisite of certain incentive payments. See ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE AREA, COUNTRYSIDE STEWARDSHIP SCHEME & COUNTRYSIDE STEWARDSHIP AGREEMENT.

Marl – A form of clay rich in calcium carbonate.

Marl lake – A freshwater lake with concentrations of dissolved calcium carbonate greater than 100 mg/litre.

Marsh - A tract of low, ill-drained ground with patches of open water in which, in TEMPERATE regions abound reeds, RUSHES and SEDGES.

Meadow – See HAY MEADOW

Meander – A loop-like bend in a river or stream. Typically, a natural meander has a steep bank or cliff on the outside of the curve and a shallow-sloping bank on the inside, often with a low-lying deposit (or 'bar') comprised of material such as silt, sand or shingle. Such features provide opportunities for specialist plants and animals (e.g. sand martins nest in river cliffs).

Medium Term – A defined timescale over which certain actions are to be carried out. For the purposes of this plan it is defined as "ideally to be initiated within three years from the start of the plan's implementation but certainly completed within 5 years". (See SHORT TERM, LONG TERM, ONGOING).

Mere – A shallow lake.

Mesotrophic – Moderately nutrient-rich.

Metamorphose – To undergo METAMORPHOSIS.

Metamorphosis - A stage in the LIFE CYCLE of certain animals during which the LARVA rapidly transforms into an adult. An example of metamorphosis is the change from CATERPILLAR to adult moth or butterfly.

Methodology – A systematic way of conducting a specific survey or piece of research.

Microclimate – The climate within a few metres of the ground and in a relatively small area.

Micro-organism - A microscopic ORGANISM.

Migrate - To go on MIGRATION.

Migration – The periodic movement of animals from one region to another usually connected with seasonal changes. In many animals, migration is a response to lower temperatures and decreased supply of food in winter. In such cases, it may be regarded as an alternative strategy to HIBERNATION.

Mill lodge – An articificial pond created in order to provide water for an industrial process. In Lancashire, many examples are associated with textile mills and some used to provide water to drive water wheels.

Mill pond – See MILL LODGE.

Millstone grit - Coarse-grained SANDSTONE that divides CARBONIFEROUS LIMESTONES from coal-bearing rock strata.

Mixed farming – Agriculture where ARABLE and LIVESTOCK farming are practised together on the same farm holding.

Mire – Plant communities that develop on waterlogged land.

Mobile dune - A coastal sand dune that is becoming stabilised by vegetation but which is still prone to significant erosion by wind erosion. (Compare with FIXED DUNE).

Modified – Changed. When applied to 'BOGS', it means that the natural hydrology of the bog has been altered artificially. For example, PEAT cutting or drainage of PEATLANDS will modify lowland raised bogs.

Mollusc - A member of a varied group of invertebrates that secrete calcium carbonate to form shells. The shells may be external and obvious (as in snails and mussels) or internal and small (as in slugs).

Molluscicide – A chemical that kills MOLLUSCS. Usually applied to chemicals (e.g. slug pellets) intended to reduce populations of slugs and snails.

Montane – The zone above the height at which trees naturally grow.

Moorland – Unenclosed land in the uplands that supports UPLAND HEATH, BLANKET BOG and UPLAND GRASSLAND.

Mosaic – An interlinking mix of habitats covering a particular area. For example, a mosaic of scrub, grassland and woodland.

Moss – (1) A group of BRYOPHYTES, the members of which are differentiated into stem and leaves (Compare with LIVERWORTS). (2) An abbreviated form of MOSSLAND.

Mossland - A term in northern Britain for lowland RAISED BOG habitat.

Mudflat - A flat expanse of mud on the coast or in an ESTUARY.

National Nature Reserve (NNR) – A site that has been declared as a nature reserve by English Nature (or their predecessors) and is managed by that organisation (or by a body approved by them). Each NNR is also a SITE OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST.

National Vegetation Classification (NVC) – A classification for British PLANT COMMUNITIES developed by the Unit of Vegetation Science at Lancaster University.

Nationally Rare – A species recorded from fifteen or less 10 km squares of the national grid.

Nationally Scarce – A species recorded from sixteen to one hundred 10 km squares of the national grid.

Native species – Species that occur naturally in an area, and therefore one that has not been introduced by humans either accidentally or intentionally.

Natural Area – English Nature has divided England into a series of Natural Areas. Their boundaries are based upon the distribution of wildlife and of natural features rather than administrative borders. A Natural Area may contain several COUNTRYSIDE CHARACTER AREAS that are considered to be different in terms of landscape but very similar with regard to wildlife characteristics.

Natural regeneration – Natural regrowth (e.g. new branches growing from the base of a COPPICED tree.)

Nectar – The sugary fluid secreted by the NECTARIES of flowers to attract the animals that cause POLLINATION.

Nectary - A glandular structure in a flower that secretes NECTAR.

Nemertean – Member of a group of animals known as 'proboscis' or 'ribbon' worms. These worm-like ORGANISMS possess a thin 'proboscis' organ that they can extrude to capture food or for locomotion.

Neutral grasslands – Grasslands that are mostly found within enclosed field systems on moist mineral soils with a pH between 5 and 6.5.

NPK – Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium used in describing the composition of a fertiliser.

Nocturnal – Active at night.

Non-renewable – A resource that is in effect finite because it is not replaced within normal human timescales. For example, oil is non-renewable because it takes millions of years to form and accumulate.

Non-statutory - Not a legal requirement.

Notification – The process of official designation (e.g. Notification of a SITE OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST).

Nutrient – A substance that provides nourishment.


Oligochaete – The group of animals that includes terrestrial earthworms and freshwater 'blood worms' (also called 'Tubifex' worms).

Oligotrophic – NUTRIENT poor (not necessarily base poor).

Ombrotrophic – Supplied solely by water derived from the atmosphere (rain, snow, fog etc.)

Ongoing – In progress, developing, continuing. In terms of the Action Tables in this Plan it means an action that, by its nature, needs to kept under constant periodic review.

Order - A unit in the classification of plants and animals.

Organic - (1) Of, or produced by animals and plants. (2) When applied to chemical substances, means compounds containing carbon combined with hydrogen (and often with nitrogen and/or oxygen).

Organic pollution/enrichment – Artificial elevation of the levels of ORGANIC chemicals in soil or water.

Organism - A living animal or plant.

Organochlorine – An organic compound that contains chlorine. These compounds were artificially produced for use as INSECTICIDE. Once widely used in agriculture there are now restrictions on their application since it was found that they were accumulating in VERTEBRATES and poisoning them.

Outlier – A POPULATION that occurs outside the main RANGE of the SPECIES.

Overgrazing – Grazing that, from the conservation point of view, is so intense that it is damaging or degrading the habitat.

Overwinter – Survive over the winter period.

Palaearctic – A region of the earth defined in terms of its plants and animals that covers Europe, Asia and North Africa.

pH – A measure of acidity/alkalinity. A pH value of 1.0 is extremely acidic, 7.0 is 'neutral', while values above 7.0 are basic or alkaline.

Parapox – A type of virus.

Partial migrant – A species in which some individuals MIGRATE but not all. For example, some British song thrushes remain where they are in winter others move to the European mainland.

Pastoral – Relating to PASTURE.

Pasture – Grassland used for grazing LIVESTOCK.

Peat – Soil of partially decomposed vegetable matter, accumulated under waterlogged (anaerobic) conditions, sometimes made up entirely of Sphagnum mosses.

Peatland - A terrestrial ECOSYSTEM in which the soils are peat-based.

Perennial - A plant living for at least three seasons. Normally a perennial flowers in its second season and subsequently.

Permeable - A body is said to be permeable to a substance if its allows the passge of the substance through itself.

Pers comm. - 'Personal communication' i.e. not in a published source but communicated directly to the author verbally or in writing.

Pesticide - Chemical used to destroy pests.

Plant community –A group of plants growing in a particular area under particular conditions of soil, climate etc. Communities can be classified in broad terms such as broadleaved woodland or in greater detail such as upland mixed ash woodland.

Plot - A small piece of land.

Plumage - Feathers of a bird.

Poaching – (1) The trampling of land when wet, by stock, so the soil becomes churned and middy, often to the detriment of the vegetation. (2) The illegal taking of GAME.

Pollard – Woodland management whereby mature trees are cut to promote regrowth above the reach of browsing stock.

Pollen - A fine powder produced by the 'male' parts of flowers composed of spores that fertilise flowers of the same species.

Pollen brush - A structure on the legs of some INSECTS (most notably, bees) that is used to gather POLLEN.

Pollution - The release of any harmful chemical into any of the environmental media (air, water, land).

Pondway - A string of PONDS and associated landscape features that provide WILDLIFE CORRIDORS for a range of aquatic and amphibious animals and plants.

Pondscape - A landscape containing a high density of ponds.

Population - A group of ORGANISMS of the same SPECIES that live in the same area.

Population density - The number of individuals in a particular POPULATION per unit area (e.g. per square kilometre).

Predation - The interaction between POPULATIONS in which one ORGANISM (the predator) consumes another (the prey). Typically, the predator catches, kills and eats its prey but predation is also used to describe feeding by INSECTIVOROUS plants and even grazing by HERBIVORES.

Prescription - Written instructions. For example, prescriptions in a nature reserve management plan state how it is intended the reserve or a COMPARTMENT of the reserve should be managed.

Primary forest – The surviving fragments of primaeval forests, the CLIMAX vegetation type of this country.

Priority habitat – (1) A category in the UK’s BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN that denotes a habitat for which national conservation effort will be targeted (see also BROAD HABITAT). Each Priority Habitat will be the subject of a HABITAT ACTION PLAN in the UK BAP. This term replaces ‘KEY HABITAT’ that was used in the first UK BAP documents. Priority habitats have been chosen on the basis of international obligations, rarity and decline, functional importance and importance for PRIORITY SPECIES. (2) A category in the EU HABITATS DIRECTIVE applied to habitats that are deemed to be of conservation importance within the European Union.

Priority Species - Species targeted in the UK’s BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN for national conservation effort. Such a species is the subject of a SPECIES ACTION PLAN or SPECIES STATEMENT in the UK BAP.

Propagate – To increase the number of plants of a particular POPULATION by means of cuttings.

Protocol – A set of rules governing how something is to be done.

Pupa - The stage in an INSECT LIFECYCLE between LARVA and adult. This is the stage during which METAMORPHOSIS takes place and pupae are often covered in a hard covering and are apparently inactive. Under the covering a radical re-arrangement of body structures occurs to alter, for example, the CATERPILLAR into the adult butterfly or moth. Some insects OVERWINTER as pupae.

Pupal - Relating to the PUPA.

Pupate – To go through the PUPAL stage in an INSECT LIFECYCLE.

Raised bog – A type of BOG which in cross-section is a shallow dome-shape. As a result, the bog surface (at least in the centre) is raised above the normal level of the GROUNDWATER.

Ramsar site – Wetlands of international importance designated under the Ramsar convention 1971, which requires signatory countries to protect internationally important wetlands, especially those used by migratory water birds, and to use wetlands wisely.

Range – The area within which a SPECIES or SUB-SPECIES is found.

Rank – (1) Social position. (2) Vegetation that has grown too much. For example, a tall grass SWARD in a CALCAREOUS grassland may contain many fewer plant species compared with a shorter, more grazed sward.

Raptor – A bird of prey.

Rare - TAXA with small populations that are not at present ENDANGERED or VULNERABLE but are at risk.

Receptor site – The site to which individuals of a SPECIES are taken in order to be introduced from another place (the 'DONOR SITE').

Reclaimed - Land that has been brought into new productive use. It is commonly applied to land previously in the intertidal zone that has been brought into agricultural use by a combination of drainage and installation of sea defences.

Record – A biological record is a document or other thing (e.g. entry on computerised database) that preserves information about some biological entity. For example, the Lancashire BAP contains maps showing the locations of bluebells in 2000 reported by the public as part of a survey. Each dot on the map represents a record of a bluebell.

Recruitment – The number of new individuals that enter a POPULATION each generation.

Red Data Book – Contains details about NATIONALLY RARE SPECIES.

Red List – The list of SPECIES covered within a RED DATA BOOK.

Reedbed - WETLAND dominated by STANDS of common reed (Phragmites australis).

Reef knoll - A dome-like mass of LIMESTONE that has grown upwards from an active coral reef. Some outcrops of limestone in the Clitheroe area, for example, have been derived from reef knolls formed in a prehistoric sea.

Regeneration - New growth.

Regionally Important Geological/Geomorphological Site (RIGS) – Sites, excluding SSSIs, that are considered worthy of protection for their educational, research, historical or aesthetic importance because of their geology.

Rhizome - An elongated underground stem in some plants that allows them to OVERWINTER and to spread throughout a habitat (e.g. BRACKEN, mint).

Ride – Cleared area of woodland, often linear, for access, fire breaks and to provide open areas for game and wildlife.

Riffle - A bar of material with a rippled surface deposited on the bed of a river or stream. The smooth flow of water is disrupted when it passes over a riffle causing it to mix and allowing it to take up more oxygen. Riffles can harbour rich ASSEMBLAGES of freshwater INVERTEBRATES and MOSSES.

Riparian –Relating to or situated on the bank of a river or stream.

Riverine – Relating to rivers.

Roost – A place where birds or bats rest or sleep (often in groups).

Rootstock – A RHIZOME.

Rotational set-aside – A management regime whereby the location of SET-ASIDE land is periodically switched from place to place within a farm holding. (See CROP ROTATION).

Runnel – A groove in a surface that carries water.

Run-off – Water drained from the land.

Rural Development Regulation – "Second pillar of the CAP" under AGENDA 2000. Brings together instruments for LESS FAVOURED AREAS, AGRI-ENVIRONMENT, forestry, early retirement, rural development and STRUCTURAL FUNDS.

Rush - A member of the plant FAMILY Juncaceae.

Rushy - Dominated by RUSHES.

Rye-grass mixture - An agricultural seed mix containing fast-growing Rye Grass (Lolium perenne).

Sacrificial Seed Crop - Seed that would normally be sown for a commercial harvest (e.g. CEREAL) that is sown instead with the intention of leaving it to be consumed by animals such as see-eating birds.

Salinity - Salt content.

Salmonid - A member of a large FAMILY of freshwater fish SPECIES that includes trout and salmon.

Saltmarsh - A MARSH that is WATERLOGGED with BRACKISH or salt water. Most examples occur on the coast.

Sandflat - A flat expanse of sand on the coast or in an ESTUARY.

Sandstone - A type of rock composed of rounded, sandy particles.

Sapling - A young tree.

Scientific name - The unique two-part latin name given to each SPECIES that has been described at some time in a scientific journal. For example, the water vole's scientific name is 'Arvicola terrestris'. The 'Arvicola' part denotes that the vole is classified as belonging to the GENUS 'Arvicola'. The second part of the name 'terrestris' allows this animal to be distinguished from other species in the same genus. The Scientific Name is useful to allow naturalists from different parts of the world to be sure they are talking about the same animal or plant. For example, the 'water vole' is known as the 'water rat' to some people in this country and, even in identification guides written in English, has been called variously 'water vole', 'northern water vole' and even 'ground vole'. Some authors have used the term 'water vole' when talking about a completely different but closely-related species (Arvicola sapidus). Consistent use of the Scientific Name is meant to minimise confusion.

Scrambling - The form of growth of certain plants (e.g. purple ramping-fumitory) that have long weak shoots and grow over other plants using them for support.

Scrape - A shallow depression in the ground.

Scree – Angular rock debris, often mobile, formed from weathering of parent material, mainly by frost action, and often located below the parent outcrop.

Scrub - Vegetation dominated by shrubs and/or low trees. It has been regarded as a HABITAT type intermediate between grassland and woodland although it is more often today seen as a habitat in its own right with its own particular conservation value.

Scrub-over - Grassland that is becoming dominated by scrub is said to be 'scrubbing-over'.

Secondary woodland – Woodlands that occupy sites that have not been continuously wooded since 1600 AD (see ANCIENT WOODLAND).

Sectoral – Relating to one or more sectors (e.g. sectors of society).

Sedentary – Tending to stay in one place.

Sedge - A member of the plant FAMILY Cyperaceae.

Sediment loading – The amount of sediment (grains of rock material) held in suspension in water such as that in a river or other type of WATERBODY.

Seed bank – (1) The ungerminated but VIABLE seeds that lie in the soil. (2) An artificial store in which seeds are kept usually as a means to ensure that particular species may be conserved.

Seed productivity – The amount of VIABLE seed that is produced by an individual plant.

Seed screening – Removal of unwanted seed from material to be sown as a crop.

Seed wastage – Seeds that are not harvested (e.g. corn that is spilt as the combine harvester passes during harvest).

Seepage – A slow leak.

Semi-improved grassland – Grassland which has been modified by the application of fertilizers (generally at a low level over a long period of time), herbicides, intensive grazing or drainage such that its species-richness and diversity is lower than that of unimproved SEMI-NATURAL grassland but still retains some characteristics of the semi-natural grassland from which it has been derived. (See Improved grassland)

Semi-natural – PLANT COMMUNITIES of native species that are not at their CLIMAX stability and are often created by direct or indirect effects of man. Most of the plant communities in Britain that are of nature conservation importance are semi-natural.

Set-aside - A form of land use chosen by farmers that allows them to claim 'arable area payments'. It provides an opportunity to introduce management practices to benefit a range of wildlife.

Severely Disadvantaged Areas (SDAs) – See LESS FAVOURED AREAS.

Shale - A type of rock that splits easilyalong the plane in which it has been laid down.

Sheep dip - A liquid DISINFECTANT and INSECTICIDE in which sheep are immersed to protect them from pests and diseases.

Shingle - A shoreline deposit of water-worn pebbles coarser than gravel.

Shoreline - The line of contact between a land surface and a lake, river or ocean surface.

Shoreline Management Plan - A NON-STATUTORY document that sets out a strategy for coastal defence over a specified area taking into account natural processes (e.g. dune formation), environmental considerations (e.g. BIODIVERSITY conservation) and human needs.

Short Term - A defined timescale over which certain actions are to be carried out. For the purposes of this plan it is defined as "to be completed within 3 years from the start of the plan's implementation". (See LONG TERM, MEDIUM TERM, ONGOING).

Silage – Partially fermented conserved fodder.

Silt - Very fine sediment.

Silviculture – The management of whole woodlands or forests for timber and/or other wood products.

Single Regeneration Budget - Government funds administered by Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) that are targetted to defined areas of deprivation to achieve social, economic and environmental regeneration.

Sinkhole – A steep sided depression found commonly in limestone areas, usually the result of solution weathering.

Sinistral - Left handed. (The way in which the shells coil in some snail species, for example, may be termed 'sinistral'.)

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) – Sites of national importance for their plants, animals, or geological or physiographical features designated by English Nature under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).

Skear - A rocky or stony outcrop (elsewhere called a 'sacr') among the MUDFLATS and SANDFLATS of ESTUARIES to which oysters may be anchored.

Slack - A depression among an area of coastal sand dunes. Often the slacks are damper than surrounding areas of sand and may even contain temporary pools.

Slurry - Liquified animal manure.

Soakway - A place where water soaks away into the ground.

Solitary - Not living in COLONIES (e.g. some wasps or bees build their own nests separate from members of their own SPECIES).

Spawn - The jelly-like mass of eggs laid by amphibians or fish or the act of laying such eggs.

Special Area of Conservation (SAC) - Areas that need to be protected under the EC HABITATS DIRECTIVE. Sites of Community importance for habitats or species listed in the Directive where "a favourable conservation status" is to be maintained or restored. With SPECIAL PROTECTION AREAS they will form a network of protected areas across the European Union to be known at "Natura 2000".

Special Protection Area (SPA) - Areas that are required to be protected under the EC Birds Directive 1979 as habitats for vulnerable species on Annex I of the Directive and also regularly occurring migratory species. With SPECIAL AREAS OF CONSERVATION they will form a network of protected areas across the European Union to be known at "Natura 2000".

Species - A unit used in the classification of plants and animals. It is a group of ORGANISMS that can interbreed to produce fertile offspring. Where such interbreeding has not been observed (e.g. in fossils, plants that increase in numbers by ASEXUAL REPRODUCTION) species are defined according to observable similarities between individuals.

Species Action Plan – A 10-15 year plan which sets objectives and targets for the maintenance or enhancement of their populations and range, and the actions necessary to achieve them. Present in both the UK BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN and LOCAL BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLANS.

Species Recovery Programme - An English Nature-led initiative to conserve some of the country's most threatened wildlife by, among other methods, reintroduction of species to sites where they have gone extinct.

Species richness – The number of species in an ECOSYSTEM.

Spore - A general term for small (often MICROSCOPIC) reproductive units consisting of one or a few CELLS. Ferns and bacteria , for example, produce spores.

Spring – A type of FEN comprising the vegetation associated with an upwelling of water from the land surface which often occur at the head of FLUSHES and water courses.

Stand - A sizeable area of vegetation comprised of the same SPECIES (e.g. a stand of Bracken).

Statutory - A legal requirement. For example, a 'statutory consultee' is a body that must be consulted because some provision in law.

Statutory Agency – A government body the powers of which are defined in law (e.g. English Nature, Environment Agency, COUNTRYSIDE AGENCY).

Stock – See LIVESTOCK.

Stocking rate - The number of LIVESTOCK per unit area of land.

Structural Funds – Measures to aid economic and social development in the EU. Objective 5b areas currently cover large tracts of the English uplands but will be replaced by smaller Objective 1 and 2 areas under AGENDA 2000.

Structure Plan - A STATUTORY land-use planning document (required under Sections 30 and 32 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended). The Structure Plan sets out strategic policies for town and country planning in non-metropolitan areas. The current Lancashire Structure Plan was published in 1997 by Lancashire County Council.

Stubble - The short stalks left behind in a field once the crop has been harvested.

Submerged vegetation – Plants rooted to the bed of a water body and either completely submerged or with only part of their shoots floating or emergent.

Sub-species - A unit in the classification of plants and animals that sub-divides SPECIES. Individuals of the same sub-species have certain characteristics in common with each other and tend to interbreed more readily than with other members of the species to which they belong. 'FORMS' and 'VARIETIES' are terms that have been used that mean the same thing. The SCIENTIFIC NAME for a given sub-species comprises three parts. Foe example 'Lycia zonaria britannica' denotes the form of the species Lycia zonaria that is called 'britannica'.

Substrate - Any material or object in which an ORGANISM grows or to which it is attached.

Succession – A gradual sequence of changes in vegetation over a period of time until an equilibrium has been attained and a CLIMAX community is established, e.g. ungrazed grassland developing into scrub and then woodland. See also PLANT COMMUNITY.

Supplementary feed – Feed used to supplement livestock dietary requirements usually during the winter. This often consists of conserved fodder, such as hay or SILAGE, feed blocks or concentrates.

Surface water - Water standing or flowing on the surface of land (Compare with GROUNDWATER).

Sustainable Development – Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainability indicator - A measure of SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (see BIODIVERSITY INDICATOR).

Swamp – A broad term covering mostly tall, EMERGENT VEGETATION occurring adjacent to open water.

Sward – Above ground components of grassland vegetation comprising grasses and HERBS.

Swarming behaviour - Behaviour observed in some social insects when they group together into 'swarms' often associated with mating and/or moving to found new COLONIES.

Syrphidae - See HOVERFLY.

Taxon (Plural = Taxa) - A unit of classification used in TAXONOMY (e.g. 'SPECIES').

Taxonomy- The study of the classification of plants and animals according to the differences and similarities between them.

Temperate - (1) Possessing a moderate climate. (2) Belonging to one of the three broad climate zones that are to be found on earth. Apart from the temperate zone (found generally in middle latitudes) there are the 'torrid zone' (i.e. the Tropics) and the 'frigid zone' (i.e. the Arctic and Antarctic).

Temporary pools - Ponds that dry up at some time during the year (usually in the summer).

Tetrad - A grouping of four adjacent one kilometre squares often used in biological recording (See RECORD).

Thorax - A region of the body. In VERTEBRATES this is the part of the body that contains the heart and lungs. In most ARTHROPODS this is the region of the body that lies between the head and the ABDOMEN.

Time / area observation - Counts of numbers/behavioural observations made over a fixed time in a fixed area.

Top – To cut grass sward or selected plant species to favour growth of palatable shoots or for weed control.

Topography - The surface features of the Earth.

Torpor - Drowsiness often induced by low temperature.

Tranche - In terms of BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLANS, this is a grouping of SPECIES ACTION PLANS and/or HABITAT ACTION PLANS released in a given period of time. thus the UK BAP has been produced in two tranches.

Transient - Lasting for a short time only.

Transition - The process of changing from one state to another. In terms of PLANT COMMUNITIES the term is applied to the zone where one type of vegetation grades into another (e.g. SCRUB grading into grassland).

Translocation - The deliberate and planned movement of whole HABITATS or POPULATIONS of SPECIES by humans from one place to another.

Ubiquitous - Being or seeming to be everywhere.

UK Biodiversity Action Plan – See BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN.

Ultrasonic - Sound waves with a frequency above the upper limit that is audible to humans.

Unenclosed land - Land that is not fenced or walled such as much of Moorland/Fell in the county.

Unimproved grassland - Grassland that has not been agriculturally IMPROVED.

Variety - See SUB-SPECIES.

Vascular plant – Plants that have a vascular system of vessels for conducting liquids. Include all flowers, trees, ferns, etc.

Vertebrates - Animals with backbones (Fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals).

Vulnerable - TAXA believed likely to move into the ENDANGERED category in the naer future if the causal factors continue operating.

Wader - A general term for members of nine FAMILIES of birds that OVERWINTER in the intertidal zone in ESTUARIES. Generally these are long-necked and relatively long-legged birds usually with long bills.

Wading bird - See WADER.

Waterbody - Any land feature that holds water (e.g. lake, pond, river, etc.).

Water chemistry - Chemical composition and characteristics of water (e.g. pH, amounof dissolved NPK, etc.).

Watercourse - A linear WATERBODY.

Waterlogging - The character of a soil where drainage is impeded and the soil contains all the water it can absorb and more.

Water Quality Objective - A STATUTORY target for water quality used to provide a common framework for dischargers and regulators.

Water table - The upper level of the zone of GROUNDWATER saturation in PERMEABLE rocks.

Waterway - A navigable WATERCOURSE (e.g. river or canal).

Waterways Bird Survey - An annual census of birds breeding on canals and rivers begun in 1974 and organised by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).


Wetland - General term for habitats and ecosystems that are dependent on large quantities of water to function (e.g. REEDBEDS, MOSSLANDS).

Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) - Annual counts of WILDFOWL, WADERS & other water birds organised by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and conducted at some 2,000 WETLAND sites in Britain, particularly on ESTUARIES and large still WATERBODIES.

Whole farm plan – Integrated management plan for a whole farm which incorporates physical characteristics, information on agricultural activities and environmental features. May include management objectives.

Wildfowl - Ducks, swans and geese.

Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) - This Act (now amended by the CROW Act) contains the main legislation that relates to protected species (e.g. Bats) and STATUTORY conservation sites.

Wildlife corridor - A linear feature (e.g. canal, hedgerow) that allows the movement of animals and plants between isolated sites.

Wildlife Enhancement Scheme (WES) – Voluntary and flexible scheme run by English Nature providing positive incentives in the form of annual and standard capital payments for the sensitive management of SITES OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST in certain parts of England.

Wildlife Site – A non-statutory designation of sites at the county/district level.

Wildwood – The original woodland cover, relatively unaffected by human activity.

Wingspan - The distance between the wing tips of any winged animal.

Woodland Grant Scheme – Forestry Commission grant which provides support for the establishment, by planting or regeneration, and management of woodland.

World Heritage Site – A site designated by the World Heritage Committee after nomination by the UK Government under the 1972 Convention of the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

Worker - Among social INSECTS such as ants, the workers are members of the COLONY that build the nest, fetch and store food and feed other members of the colony. They are usually sterile females.