This often co-exists with other uses, including forestry, sport shooting, recreation, renewable energy generation and water storage.
The interaction between low-intensity agriculture and environmental variation in upland landscapes can support communities of exceptional biodiversity value. For example, UK upland breeding bird assemblages are of great international conservation importance.
But pressure from grazing regimes, commercial forestry, grouse moor management, climate change and renewable energy developments pose complex challenges for upland nature conservation. Declines of many species reported in Bird Atlas 2007-2011 suggest these challenges are not being successfully tackled.
Our research in upland systems focuses on understanding how bird populations and their habitats are responding to these environmental changes and the interventions needed to reverse losses. Grazing domestic animals is a dominant land use in upland and alpine habitats.