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For decades there have been arguments and debates about the "state" of the Scottish uplands, and what is needed to improve them. Concern has focused especially on the impacts of high numbers of sheep and deer and on the occurrence of uncontrolled burning. Unfortunately, at the centre of these debates there has often been a failure to communicate clearly about basic facts. Until now, information about habitat impacts has come from either a few very local, very detailed studies or from more numerous surveys involving rapid, but very subjective visual assessments based on loosely defined criteria. In this guide we attempt to resolve some of these problems by providing a suite of transparent, descriptive classes and a flexible but systematic methodology which can be applied anywhere in the Scottish upland. The guide is aimed at professional field staff in the conservation agencies and non-governmental organisations, and ecological contractors undertaking field surveys. The guide is in two parts. Volume 1 provides descriptions of the habitats and impacts, the likely outlook for the habitats and their associated fauna and flora under particular impacts, and detailed instructions about how the guide should be used to carry out an impact survey. Volume 2 is a field guide giving the field indicators for each habitat and impact type.