Lichen festooned fence postFAQ

Definitions of terms commonly used by SLEF

What do we mean by:

    The totality of surrounding conditions; the natural environment, commonly referred to simply as the environment, encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof.
    The variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or for the entire Earth; the number and variety of all life forms within a region. (It's been a long struggle, but we hope that people are no longer baffled by this concise, convenient, self-explanatory word.)
    From the Greek: literally the study of homes. Coined and refined in 1930 by British pioneer ecologists Roy Clapham and Sir Arthur Tansley as: "The whole system, ... including not only the organism-complex, but also the whole complex of physical factors forming what we call the environment". (The word has been hijacked from biology and is often used as a noun meaning 'wildlife' (by the way, another term they misuse), even in the form 'the ecology' meaning the global environment or 'nature' - ugh! As you can tell, this really annoys ecologists.)
    A scholar of ecology; a biologist (sometimes a mathematician) who studies the relationships between organisms and between them and their environment. (The word has been hijacked from biology, often used to mean someone who cares about wildlife or the environment, a 'green' person. This makes proper ecologists rather cross.)
    A system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment; the combined physical and biological components of an environment; a community of organisms considered as a combined whole.
    All living things (except people) that are undomesticated; everything wild and biological. (Often used imprecisely when referring to mammals or birds or both. Such usage annoys biologists, in particular, botanists and mycologists.)

Coming Soon:

  • Nature
  • Natural History
  • Biology
  • Zoology
  • Botany
  • Conservation vs Preservation
  • Others?
Skye and Lochalsh Environment Forum would like to thank the following organisations for their support:
Scottish Natural Heritage
The European Agriculture fund for Rural Development. Europe investing in rural areas
The Highland Council
The Scottish Government
Skye & Lochalsh Environment Forum, The Old Police Station, Isleornsay, Sleat, Isle of Skye, Scotland IV43 8QR

Skye and Lochalsh Environment Forum is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SC040820).

Tel: 01471 833463 Email:
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