It has come to our attention while wrapping up Return of the Native, that there may be some confusion out there regarding these terms. Are they synonymous? Just easily confused? Does one have to go abroad to recognize and correctly identify them?
Well, rest assured, reader, we will clear up this confusion. And confusion is rampant. Everyone is asking this question! You know you are too. So, here you go. Moorland vs Heathland. (Keep in mind, I’ve never actually seen either, so for those of you experts, feel free to comment.)
First of all, they ARE very similar in appearance and contain many similar plants. Both were formed from centuries of cutting trees and grazing, leaving only low-lying vegetation and poor soil.
Here are some differences:
Higher in elevation, thus cooler. Lower in elevation, thus warmer.
Lots of grasses, peat, moss, heather, and bracken. Dominated by small woody shrubs.
More rain, damp and marshy, often foggy. Not usually damp.
So, whether you wander the moor like Jane or Mary Lennox or stroll the heath like Eustacia, I hope you can savor their wild beauty and (now) celebrate their uniqueness!