The term wetland has changed over time and with various political and regulatory instruments. Wetlands cover wet or very humid vegetated habitats with no or very little open water surface: mires and bogs, as well as habitats with open water: rivers, lakes. Wetlands can be inland, coastal or marine. The marine wetlands are dealt with by the marine chapters on the North Sea and the northeast Atlantic Ocean.
Heathlands formerly covered wide areas of the region as in the Continental region. Present cover is less than 8%. Atlantic heathlands are characterised by dwarf shrubs and occur normally on nutrient poor soils. The following habitats occur in this ecosystem: Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix, European dry heaths, Active raised bogs, Transition mires and quaking bogs, Alkaline fens (European Environment Agency, Europe’s biodiversity, The Atlantic region - ETC/NPB).