Annex 2.  Glossary / Acronyms / Abbreviations


This glossary defines the main terms used in the report.  It includes a number of the specialist technical terms used by the conservation agencies.  The glossary is not, however, exhaustive.  A selection of commonly used acronyms and abbreviations are also included. 

Area of Special Scientific Interest – the equivalent to SSSI in Northern Ireland.
A generic term refering to either SSSI or ASSI sites.
A characteristic of a habitat, biotope, community or population of a species which most economically provides an indication of the condition of the interest feature to which it applies.
Biodiversity broad habitats:
A framework classification of habitats contained in Biodiversity: The UK Steering Group Report (as amended by the Targets Group) which can be used to describe the whole land surface of the UK, and the surrounding sea to the edge of the continental shelf in the Atlantic ocean.  
Condition categories:
The generic term describing the categories used for judging and reporting on the condition of an interest feature.
Condition monitoring:
Monitoring to determine the conservation state of interest features on statutory sites and to determine whether the conservation objectives for particular sites are being met.
Conservation objective:
A statement of the nature conservation aspirations for the features of interest on a site, expressed in terms of the condition that we wish to attain for each interest feature.
Recording of the condition of an interest feature as destroyed indicates that an entire interest feature has been affected to such an extent that there is no hope of recovery, perhaps because its supporting habitat or processes have been removed or irretrievably altered.
An interest feature is recorded under the condition category favourable-maintained when its conservation objectives were being met at the previous assessment, and are still being met.
An interest feature can be recorded in the condition category favourable recovered if it has regained 'favourable condition', having been recorded as 'unfavourable' on the previous assessment.
Favourable condition:
The target condition for an interest feature in terms of the abundance, distribution and/or quality of that feature within a site, that we aim the feature to attain, i.e. the conservation objective for the feature is being met.
Interest feature:
A habitat, habitat matrix, geomorphological or geological exposure, a species or species community or assemblage which is the reason for notification of the site under the appropriate selection guidelines or, in the case of Natura 2000 and Ramsar areas, the features for which the site has been designated.
Surveillance undertaken to ensure that formulated standards are being achieved.  The term is also applied to compliance monitoring against accepted standards to ensure that agreed or required measures are being followed.
Monitoring Cycle:
The period within which all designated sites and their interest features will be monitored.  Set as 6 years.
Where sections or areas of certain interest features are destroyed or parts of sites are destroyed with no hope of reinstatement because the interest feature itself, or habitat or processes essential to support it, have been removed or irretrievably altered.  Such cases would be recorded under the condition category partially-destroyed.
Sites designated under the Convention for Wetlands of International Importance, signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971.  
Reporting categories:
The generic term which refers to the categories that will be used to report the results of common standards monitoring at the GB/UK level.
Special Area of Conservation.  Sites designated for species and habitats listed under the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC).  
Special Protection Area.  Sites designated for birds listed under the EU Birds Directive (79/409/EEC).  
Site of Special Scientific Interest – sites designated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended 1985, and superseded by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, and the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act (2004).   
Statement to describe the state required from all of the attributes of an interest feature under prevailing conditions.  Because all features are subject to some change the targets may express how much change we would accept whilst still considering the feature to be in favourable condition.  These will serve as a trigger mechanism so that when changes that fall outside the thresholds expressed are observed or measured some further investigation or remedial action is taken.
Decline is another possible consequence of a damaging activity.  In this case, recovery is possible and may occur either spontaneously or if suitable management input is made.  This condition category can be recorded more than once for a particular interest feature in relation to a single damaging activity.
An interest feature may be retained in a more-or-less steady state by repeated or continuing damage; it is unfavourable but neither declining or recovering.  In rare cases, an interest feature might not be able to regain its original condition following a damaging activity, but a new, stable state might be achieved.
An interest feature can be recorded under the condition category recovering after damage if it has begun to show, or is continuing to show, a trend towards favourable condition.  This category can be recorded more than once for a particular feature in relation to a single damaging activity.