Upland = land lying above the limit of enclosed farmland.
(enclosed = omheind)

Die grens ligt in Engeland gewoonlijk op grofweg 1,000 feet (± 300m)
boven zeeniveau.

In de tekening is het upland alles boven de Fell wall, m.a.w. de Open fell.

Upland habitats in Britain:
Covering about a third of the UK’s land surface, upland habitats form the
.. bulk of our wildest, most scenic and possibly most romantic countryside.
...They are the open habitats of mountains, moors
(venen), blanket bogs
...(spreihoogvenen) , heaths and rough grasslands.
The setting for many atmospheric novels from Wuthering Heights to
..The Hound of the Baskervilles.
The uplands are characterised by:
..1. older, harder, more resistant rocks, which form blocks of higher ground.
..2. the soils are often less fertile making them less favourable for farming.
..3. the climate, tends to be more severe.

• Top Withens, Haworth Moor
.. This ruined farmhouse, is the supposed setting for Wuthering Heights in
.. Emily Bronte's novel.

Mooie video: Rewilding with George Monbiot:
George Monbiot:
Cross that bleak plateau and you will see plenty of moorgrass, some
tormentil and moss, a few crows, perhaps the odd pipit and skylark, but
almost nothing else, except sodding sheep. The hills have been grazed to

We zien een frappant verschil tussen de uplands van het Europese vasteland
en die van Groot-Brittannië (en Ierland).
Die van het continent zijn bebost (denk bijvoorbeeld aan de Ardennen).
Dat is de normale gang van zaken bij uplands met hun relatief ruige klimaat
en arme bodem.
In Groot-Brittannië zijn ze echter niet bebost (denk aan de kale Pennines).
George Monbiot legt in een prachtige lezing uit hoe dat komt.
Warm aanbevolen. Nieuw venster www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHw8yiHD4Iw

Habitat = leefgebied.

Rewilding = the mass restoration of ecosystems.
.................... ( the reintroduction of animal and plant species to habitats 
.................... from which they had been excised.)


Upland areas in Britain:

Op de onderstaande kaart kun je de uplands goed vergelijken tussen Engeland, Schotland en Wales.

Upland = land lying above the limit of enclosed farmland.
(enclosed = omheind)

Die grens ligt gewoonlijk op grofweg 1,000 feet (± 300m) boven
Er zijn echter gebieden waar geen enclosed farmland is
(denk o.a. aan de Northwest Highlands en de Hebriden).
Gebruik in dat geval voor de definitie het vegetatie type.
Je vindt daar al op veel lagere hoogte vegetatie met een
upland-karakter, soms zelfs op zeeniveau.

Schotland en Wales hebben beide relatief veel upland. In Schotland
is een groot gedeelte daarvan zelfs boven de 2,500 ft (±760 m).
Ook zijn er in Schotland eilandjes aan de westkust met upland en ook
hier is een gedeelte nog boven de. 2,500 ft (±760 m) is.

...Upland areas in Britain . (= lichtbruin + donkerbruin)
. De uplands zijn in de kaart de licht- en donkerbruine gebieden samen.
Most of our upland habitats are found in Scotland, Northern England
.. and Wales, though there are some areas of moorland in
.. South West England.

Towards the north of Britain the climate, soils and terrain become
.. more challenging for plants and animals, so that some areas
.. almost at sea level.
in Northern Scotland or the Hebrides
.. still feel part of the upland rather. than the lowland zone.


Upland regions in Engeland:

If one divides England into broad-scale zones based on vegetation and
environment, including climate, a particularly important division is seen
between upland England (the cooler, wetter north and west), and
lowland England (the warmer, drier south and east).
The difference between these areas is shown, for example, by the

greater extent of peat and the greater quantity and diversity of
humidity- demanding bryophytes (liverworts and mosses)
and ferns in
upland England
, and the greater quantity of thermophilous or
heat-demanding plant species in lowland England.

Trek een diagonaal door Engeland vanaf de oostrand van de
North York Moors naar de oostrand van Dartmoor.
De uplands bevinden zich dan allemaal ten noordwesten van die lijn.
( Ten zuidoosten v. d. diagonaal is alles lowland ).
Lowland komt grofweg overeen met lager dan 1,000 feet ( ± 300 m)
Dus ook bijv. het Cotswold plateau is lowland, want bijna helemaal
onder de 1,000 feet (slechts enkele topjes steken er bovenuit).
Ook alle andere heuvelruggen in het zuidoosten behoren tot de
lowlands. Denk aan bijv. North Downs, South Downs, The Chilterns, etc.

( Als we de termen upland en lowland op de Benelux toepassen, dan
zijn de Ardennen het upland. De rest is lowland.

Upland= land lying above the limit of enclosed farmland.
(enclosed =

Die grens ligt gewoonlijk op grofweg 1,000 feet (± 300m) boven



Upland regions (van noord naar zuid):

Cheviot Hills (815 m = hoogste top) .

Border Moors and Forests

North Pennines (893 m) (The Pennines are considered to end in the
...................................... north at the River Tyne gap;
dus ongeveer ter
...................................... hoogte van Hadrian's Wall)
Lake District (978 m)

North York Moors (454 m)

Forest of Bowland (561 m)

Yorkshire dales (736 m)

South Pennines ( ..)

Peak district (636 m) (dit is het zuidelijke uiteinde van de Pennines)

Welsh Borders: Black Mountains (... m), Shropshire Hills (540 m), etc.

Exmoor (519 m), Dartmoor (621 m) en Bodmin Moor.


What are uplands ?

The British uplands, which cover almost a third of Britain's
.. land surface, encompass a wide range of habitats ranging from
.. places such as:
.. - the granite tors on Dartmoor, through
.. - the eroded peat plateau of Kinder Scout (Peak District) to
.. - the arctic-like plateau of Ben MacDui in Scotland.
Despite the obvious differences between these places each is
.. instantly recognisable as an upland environment, so what do they
.. share in common ?
.. One important shared characteristic is the absence, or at least the
.. paucity
(= schaarste), of human signs such as roads, buildings and
.. boundaries.

.. They are the closest that we can get to wilderness in Britain.
The adjectives that people use to describe upland habitats depend
.. upon their point of view, but range through words as open, wild,
.. empty, bleak, desolate and hostile.
.. Each of these adjectives picks up on particular features of upland
.. environments that are a consequence of:
.. - the absence of cultivation,
.. - the topography (shape of the land) and
.. - the climate.
There is little doubt that the upland landscape is valued in Britain
.. since many of the National Parks have a significant amount of
.. upland habitat.

Upland = land lying above the limit of enclosed farmland.
(enclosed = omheind)

Die grens ligt gewoonlijk op grofweg 1,000 feet (± 300m) boven
Er zijn echter gebieden waar geen enclosed farmland is (denk o.a.
aan de Northwest Highlands en de Hebriden).
Gebruik in dat geval voor de definitie het vegetatie type.
Je vindt daar al op veel lagere hoogte vegetatie met een
upland-karakter, soms zelfs op zeeniveau.

.. Although the word upland and this definition, implies an altitudinal
.. boundary, the altitude
(= hoogte) of the land is really a surrogate for
.. climate, since the position of the boundary between lowland and
.. upland is related to the effect that weather has on plant growth.
The limit of enclosed farmland is an economic threshold, above which
.. it is unprofitable to cultivate the land. Farming close to the boundary
.. is always marginal and changes in agricultural funding could move
.. the boundary up or down the hill.
The boundary between lowland and upland can often appear sharp,
.. with markedly different vegetation above and below the wall or fence
..(afrastering) marking the upper limit of a farm.
.. This sharp transition in vegetation across a farm boundary wall or fence
.. is a consequence of the relatively intensive management that takes
.. place on the farm. The real ecological boundary between the lowlands
.. and the uplands is much more fuzzy but, none the less, real.
Although the uplands are unlikely to suffer from the urbanisation or
.. intensive farming experienced in the lowlands there are other threats
.. that are direct consequence of our actions.
.. For example, there is habitat degradation brought about by:
.. - overgrazing,
.. - commercial afforestation
.. - recreation
.. - persecution of wildlife and
.. - the insidious
(= verraderlijke) effects of acid deposition and
.. .. global warming.
.. All of these are a threat to the naturalness of the upland environment
.. and to their value as wilderness areas.

Important upland semi-natural habitats:
Most of the uplands have been modified through grazing, drainage,
tree - planting and deposits of atmospheric pollution.

The uplands are perhaps most memorable characterised by
a mosaic of bleak, open unenclosed
(= niet omheind) landscape of:
1. Blanket bog (= spreihoogveen),
2. Upland Heaths,
3. Upland Grassland

1. Blanket bog
(= spreihoogveen):

As the name suggests, blanket bogs form over a large area and are
typically shallow ( a few metres).
They form in areas of high rainfall (upland areas + west coast) where
high levels of acid leaching occur.
They are called blanket bogs because of their appearance - from a
distance they appear homogeneous and they hug the topography like
a blanket.
Contrary to popular belief, blanket bogs are essentially a man-made
feature, if inadvertent
(onopzettelijk) and aided somewhat by the

Blanket bog is an open habitat almost entirely restricted to the uplands
in England and Wales, but which descends to sea level in parts of

It is characteristically underlain by an expansive ‘blanket’ layer of peat.
This develops because the climate is sufficiently cool and damp to
allow peat-forming plants to grow – the litter of which decomposes
very slowly under the permanently water-logged conditions and
gradually accumulates into a layer of peat.
(Examples of peat forming species are Sphagnum mosses and
cotton grasses).
The peat depth and time over which it has accumulated are very
variable – usually it is between 0.5–3 m thick and dates back
5–6,000 years.
The main causes of the spread of blanket bog are debated – although
in some areas this initiated following clearance of the original forest
by man, this co-incided with a general natural cooling in climate

• Blanket bogs by region based on 5 km gridded data of blanket peat presence.


2. Upland heaths :

Upland heath ( heather moor) in the North York Moors.
Het is niet omheind (unenclosed) heideveen dat beheerd wordt voor grouse shooting.

Upland heath occurs on steeper slopes than blanket bog.
It occurs on mineral soils and thin peats < 0.5 m, and is characterised
by a cover of dwarf shrubs of at least 25%. 

(Blanket bog is distinguished from heathland by its occurrence on
deep peat (> 0.5m) and gentler slopes.)

Typical shrub species include:
- Heather (Calluna vulgaris)
( Struikhei ),
- Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)
( Blauwe bosbes ),
- Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum)
( Kraaihei ) and
- Bell heather (Erica cinerea)
( Rode dophei ).
- Juniper
(Jeneverbes) is often found on upland heaths in northern areas,
.. whilst
- Western gorse (Ulex gallii)
( Westelijke gaspeldoorn ) occurs in the
.. south and west.

Wet heath is more commonly found in the north and west where the
climate is damper. Here typical plant species are:
- Cross-leaved heath (Erica tetralix)
( Gewone dophei ),
- Deer grass (Scirpus cespitosus)
( een Bies-soort ),
- Heather and Purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea)
( Pijpenstrootje ) ,
- with a carpet of mosses including Sphagnum species
. (Veenmos spp)


3. Upland grassland:

• Upland acid grassland and rush pasture.

Upland grasslands are the result of human intervention through
livestock grazing.
They are found throughout the English uplands and are generally
unenclosed and subjected to extensive livestock grazing.
Underlying geology, soil type and historic land use are significant
drivers of distribution.
The most common grassland is acid grassland consisting of bents,
fescues, mat-grass and wavy-hair grass.
More nutritious grasslands occur on areas of fertile or lime-rich soils.



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Piet Smulders, 2018

.............................................. ....




Extra info voor de liefhebbers:


The upland farming system – a Cumbrian example


Upland = land lying above the limit of enclosed farmland.
(enclosed =

Die grens ligt gewoonlijk op grofweg 1,000 feet (± 300m) boven zeeniveau, maar in Noord-Schotland ligt ze veel lager, soms tot op zeeniveau.

The upland farms comprise here: the farmyard and three land types:
.... 1. inbye .........2.intake ........ 3.open fell
These operate as a management system to provide farmers with
flexibility to overcome the poor physical conditions of the environment.

1. The inbye land near the farms in the valley is made up of enclosed grasslands ( hay meadows , silage) (and some occasional arable fields
to produce forage crops).
Changes in farming practice since the 1960s replaced hay with silage,
the latter of which has little wildlife value.

2.The intake lying on the valley sides is made up of pieces of common
or other land which has been enclosed from the open fell.
It produces a semi-improved pasture of rush beds and some nutritious
grasses for (cattle) and sheep.

3. In the open fell is the unenclosed rough grazing.
It is lying above the fell wall.
The land here can be common land , owned by a single landlord or
shared through common rights by the farms which graze livestock upon
it, populating an area of land referred to as a heft .
The fell itself is a mosaic of poor agricultural potential, but high
conservation value, semi-natural habitats, usually , heather moorland,
rough grassland and blanket bogs.
It is this zone which has suffered most from increased grazing in terms
of its wildlife because those managers with grazing rights can graze as
many livestock as their common rights allow, which can exceed
ecological or even agricultural carrying capacity.

1. inbye = enclosed grassland (hay meadows, silage), often
................ surroundingfarm buildings.

2. intake = semi-improved pasture taken in and fenced from the hill.

3. open fell = a mosaic of heather moorland, types of grassland and
..................... blanket bog (
fell = northern term for hill.

hay meadow = enclosed grassland managed for the purpose of ........................ gathering hay, usually cut once a year in the summer.

heft = a piece or parcel of land in unenclosed hill and mountain
................. pasture to which sheep are attached, usually because
................. they have been bred. on it. These fields are fertilized.

meadow = enclosed grassland not permanently grazed and
.................. cut once a year for conserved fodder

moorland = the unenclosed land of the uplands supporting
................... - upland heath
(wet and dry),
....................- upland grassland (all types)
................... - blanket bog

new take/allotment = pasture taken in and fenced from the hill, ................... generallyused for grazing and holding stock, they may or
................. may not be improved.

pasture = enclosed grassland for the sole purpose of grazing stock.

semi-improved grassland = grassland which has been modified by ...................the application of fertilisers (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

upland farm = a marginal farm with both open hill grazing and inbye
...................... land




History, land use and management:

Prior to human activity beginning about 6000 years ago,
birch ( Betula spp.), pine ( Pinus sylvestris ), oak ( Quercus spp.)
and hazel ( Corylus avellana ) woodland covered much of what is now
bare, treeless upland.
In north Wales, the Lake District and Scotland there was ground above
the altitudinal limit of trees (the tree-line)
(= bosgrens) .
Although it is difficult to tell where the woodlands were continuous and
where there were just scattered trees, there were probably very few
places in the uplands from which no trees were visible.
The Pennines, the North York Moors, Bodmin Moor, Exmoor and
Dartmoor were probably completely covered by forest, except on cliffs,
screes, areas of shallow soils, mires, springs, flushes and the most
exposed summits.

The landscape of upland Great Britain has been greatly modified by
human influence over many centuries, with extensive deforestation
beginning about 4000 years ago. Centuries of deforestation have
reduced the woodland (atlantic rainforest) to a tiny fraction of its
original extent.
In the more open landscape, regenerating trees and shrubs are more vulnerable to browsing by herbivores, such as native deer and
introduced cattle (Bos taurus), sheep (Ovis aries) and
goats (Capra hircus).
This has kept woodland regeneration in check and has led to the
maintenance of large areas of open grassland and heath.
Without the annual addition of nutrients from tree and shrub leaf
litter the previously rich forest soils have become leached and
over time.
There has been further removal of nutrients from the ecosystem in
the form of wool and meat from sheep, and milk and meat from cattle.
Deliberate and repeated burning of moorland vegetation has caused
further modification, including drying out of peat, and, often in
combination with grazing, the associated conversion of bog vegetation
to heath or grassland.
The composition of upland vegetation has also been influenced by
changes in the type of grazing animal over the past few centuries.
Historically, most of the uplands were grazed by mixtures of
cattle, sheep (including wethers), ponies and goats, but now sheep
(mainly ewes and lambs) are the most common animals in almost
all upland areas.
The selective grazing behaviour of ewes and lambs appears to have encouraged the spread of unpalatable species, such as
Nardus stricta (= ...) and Juncus squarrosus (= ...).
However, land use in upland Great Britain has not been as intensive
as in the lowlands, and its influence has not completely overwhelmed
that of variation in natural physical factors, such as rock type,
topography, soils and climate.
The result of the combination of natural variation and anthropogenic land use is a richly varied landscape.
The main forms of land use in upland Great Britain in recent decades
have been:
- sheep grazing,
- deer forest,
- grouse moor,
- cattle grazing,
- water abstraction,
- recreation
, and
- afforestation with non-native conifers.
The pattern of land use varies between different parts of upland
Great Britain. For example:
- centuries of intensive sheep grazing have led to the development of extensive grasslands through much of the hill ground in Wales,
the Lake District and parts of the Southern Uplands and the Breadalbanes, while moor-burning and light grazing associated with grouse shooting
have maintained extensive heather- dominated heaths in the Pennines,
North York Moors, eastern Highlands and parts of the Southern Uplands.
Throughout most of upland Great Britain, grazing by native and
introduced herbivores has until recent years prevented
woodland regeneration in all but the most inaccessible places.
However since the 1980s many areas of deciduous woodland and
open ground have been fenced to exclude grazing animals.

Some enclosures are stock-fenced, some are deer-fenced, some are quite temporary or mobile, and others are more permanent.
The result is that a substantial and increasing amount of native
woodland regeneration is now taking place in many parts of upland
Great Britain.
In many other places native tree and shrub species are being planted
on open ground to create new woodlands which are nearer to natural communities than are the all-too-familiar dense conifer plantations.
Patterns of human settlement in upland Great Britain vary from
crofting in the western Highlands and Hebrides to concentrated
villages among a general scatter of farms in the English and Welsh
The human population of much of upland Great Britain was once
greater than it is today, although in some areas, such as the
Yorkshire Dales, it is believed to be about the same now as it was in
medieval times.
This change in population is especially marked in the Highlands,
where the population was greatly reduced during the infamous
Highland clearances and where today one can find many old ruined
houses and settlements in remote places.
Some of the more remote dwellings (summer farms) were never
permanently occupied.
Known as ‘shielings’ in Scotland and northern England ( airidh in the Gaelic) and hafotai in Wales, they were places where people lived in summer
when the cattle were taken up the hills to graze the high pastures.

.............................................. .