Condition of upland terrestrial habitats
Variations in climate, geology, topography and management have led to the development of a range of upland habitats that are both nationally and internationally important within the UK uplands (Ratcliffe and Thompson, 1988). The EU Habitats and Species Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC, 1992) identifies habitats that are of international importance, and member states are obliged to identify those which occur within their own country and take steps to designate a range of examples that are found. These are known as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs). Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) recognise species, habitats, or geological features that are of country importance and are notified under domestic legislation (Nature Conservancy Council, 1989).