‘A’ weighting dB(A)

The human ear does not respond uniformly to different frequencies. A-weighting is commonly used to simulate the frequency response of the ear.

Above Ordnance Datum (aOD)

The mean sea level at Newlyn (UK) used as a base measurement on Ordnance Survey Maps for contours.


A proposal for land for housing, industry or other uses within a Local Plan that identifies a specific area of land to be developed within the time period of the plan.


Sediment deposited by a river.

Ambient Noise

The all encompassing sound at any point in time.

Amenity Value

Defined as the relative pleasantness of a journey and relates in particular to the exposure of pedestrians and others to traffic.

Ancient Woodland Inventory

Aims to list all probable ancient semi-natural woodlands on a county basis together with those woodlands in other ancient categories of lesser woodland nature conservation interest.

Appropriate Assessment

An assessment of likely impacts associated with a development on a European Protected Site. An Appropriate Assessment is required by law under Regulation 48 of the Habitats Regulations (1994), implementing Article 6(3) of the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC).


A body of rock through which appreciable amounts of water can flow.


An umbrella term for description, analysis and evaluation.


Increase in duration of flow hydrograph with a consequent reduction in peak flow.


The existing conditions which form the basis or start point of the environmental assessment.

Bathymetric Surveys

The measurement and description of underwater depths taken from the water surface.


Hard rock that lies beneath a superficial cover of soils and sediments.

Benefit to Cost Ratio (BCR)

An indicator, used in the formal discipline of cost-benefit analysis that attempts to summarize the overall value for money of a project or proposal. A BCR is the ratio of the benefits of a project or proposal, expressed in monetary terms, relative to its costs, also expressed in monetary terms.


A heap or pile of material typically amassed from the by-products of mining. Alternatively referred to as a slag heap.


Biological diversity, or richness of living organisms present in representative communities and populations.


A slope or a hillside.

Broadleaved Woodland

An area of woodland with predominantly deciduous tree species (less than 10% coniferous trees in the canopy).


Industrial or commercial property or land that is abandoned or underused and often environmentally contaminated, especially one considered as a potential site for redevelopment.


An embankment, wall or dam that can be used to minimise noise or alternatively built around an oil tank to contain the contents in the event of spillage.


Refers to a sediment, sedimentary rock, or soil type which is formed from or contains a high proportion of calcium carbonate.


Refers to a group of marine mammals that includes whales, dolphins and porpoises.

Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO)

A legal document giving the government (Scottish Ministers) power to compulsorily purchase the areas of land necessary for the construction of the scheme.

Community Severance

Community severance is defined here as the separation of residents from facilities and services they use within their community caused by new or improved roads or by changes in traffic flows.

Coniferous Woodland

An area of woodland with predominantly coniferous tree species (less than 10% deciduous trees in the canopy).

Contaminated Land

The ‘Environment Protection Act 1990’ defines Contaminated Land as ‘any land which appears to the local authority as to be in such condition, by reason of substances, on or under the land, that significant harm is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such harm being caused; … or pollution of controlled water is being, or likely to be caused’.

Conservation Area

Area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. Designated under section 61 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

Controlled Activity Regulations (Scotland) 2005

Controls all engineering activity in or near watercourses.


A metal, wooden, plastic, or concrete conduit through which surface water can flow under or across roads.


Typically where part of a hill or mountain is cut out to make way for a road or railway line.

Critical Load

The quantitative estimate of the level of exposure of natural systems to pollutants below which significant harmful effects on specified sensitive elements of the environment do not occur.


The enclosed area of land around a dwelling.


This type of construction involves excavating a trench from the surface, building a tunnel and then backfilling and restoring the ground.

Decibel (dB)

The range of audible sound pressures is approximately 0.00002 Pa to 200 Pa. Using decibel notation presents this range in a more manageable form, 0 dB to 140 dB.

Sound pressure Level (dB) = 20 log (pt / p0)
where p0 = 2 x 10-5 Pa


A link road departing the main carriageway to a subsidiary road or junction.


Environmental Assessment:
The base situation where there are no modifications to the existing road network.  May also refer to the minimum modifications, which will necessarily take place in the absence of a proposed scheme.

Economic Assessment:
The continued operation of the existing road network with permanent closure of the Forth Road Bridge.

Drift Deposits

Drift geology overlying bedrock.


The result of change or changes on specific environmental resources or receptors.


A component part of the landscape or environment (e.g. roods, hedges, woodlands).

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

The process by which information about the environmental effects of a project is evaluated and mitigation measures are identified.

Environmental Statement (ES)

Document provided by the Developer to the Competent Authority, containing environmental information required under Article 5 of Directive 85/337/EEC as amended.

European Union (EU)

Union of European States.


A process where water bodies receive excess nutrients that stimulate excessive plant growth. This can lead to effects such as lack of oxygen and reductions in water quality, fish, and other animal populations.


Measurement made at 1m from façade (façade effect +2.5/3dB(A))


A wetland that, like a bog, has organic soil. In contrast with bogs, fens receive most of their water from the surrounding groundwater, and consequently can be either acidic or alkaline, depending on the surrounding earth. They support a greater variety of plants than bogs, but are often still dominated by peat.


Material deposited by man in ground depression or excavated area.

Flight Line

A route, usually along linear or habitat feature, which is used by bats for commuting between landscape features.


Land adjacent to a river, which is subject to regular flooding.

Fluvial Geomorphology

The study of landforms associated with river channels and the sediment processes which form them.


Searching for food or provisions.


An arrangement whereby two roads merge into one or alternatively where a single road splits into two. Typically implemented within a large junction or interchange.


Breaking up of an organism's habitat into smaller fragments that may vary in size.

Free Flow Junction

A junction allowing traffic to move unhindered between individual roads without formal traffic control (i.e traffic signals, stop lines).

General Traffic

General modes of traffic including private light goods vehicles, vans, lorries and buses.


The branch of geology concerned with the structure, origin and development of topographical features of the earth’s crust.

Geophysical Survey

Geophysical survey is a non-intrusive pre-construction archaeological evaluation technique that exploits a variety of physical or chemical characteristics of rocks and soils etc, in an attempt to locate underground features of archaeological interest. Types of geophysical survey include magnetometer survey, magnetic susceptibility survey and resistivity survey.


Pertaining to streams fed by melting glaciers, or to the deposits and landforms produced by such streams.

Glacial Till

Glacial till is that part of glacial drift which was deposited directly by the glacier. It may vary from clays to mixtures of clay, sand, gravel and boulders.

Grade Separated Junction

A junction arrangement that is separated by level from the through carriageway.

Ground Investigation

Exploratory investigation to determine the structure and characteristics of the ground influenced by a development. The collected information is used to establish or predict ground and groundwater behaviour during, and subsequent to, construction.


Water below the surface of the ground in the saturation zone and in direct contact with the ground or subsoil.


Term most accurately meaning the place in which a species lives, but also used to describe plant communities or agglomerations of plant communities, as used, for example in a Phase 1 Habitat Survey.

Habitats Directive

EC Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.

Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV)

Vehicles with 3 axles (articulated) or 4 or more axles (rigid and articulated).


A boundary barrier that does not block the view e.g. where a retaining wall is built into a ditch.

Hard Shoulder Running

The use of the emergency lane sited to the nearside of the trafficked carriageway for the running of vehicles.

HB Rating/Loading

A loading arrangement defined within bridge design standards comprising a vehicle with 4 axles and 4 wheels per axle.


Of, relating to, or operated by the force of liquid in motion.


The branch of geology that deals with the occurrence, distribution, and effect of ground water.


The exchange of water between the atmosphere, the land and the oceans.

Igneous Petrology

The study of igneous rocks, their occurrence, composition, and origin.


Any changes attributable to the proposed scheme that have the potential to have environmental effects (i.e. the causes of the effects).


Material that does not allow fluids to pass through it.

Incidental Sighting

Casual observation of a plant or animal of one or more species recorded whilst performing a non-relevant ecological survey.


Alternating layers of different materials in a section of bedded rocks.

Interchange Link

A connecting road, within a large junction carrying free flowing traffic between one road and another.


Equivalent Continuous Sound Level. A notional steady sound level which would cause the same A-weighted sound energy to be received as that due to the actual, possibly fluctuating, sound level over a given period of time.


Combination of slope and elevation producing the shape and form of the land surface.


Human perception of the land, conditioned by knowledge and identity with a place.


Acquired land which is necessary to construct the scheme and associated infrastructure and to undertake the essential environmental mitigation measures.


A young hare. They are born fully furred and with their eyes open. They are independent after approximately three weeks.

Listed Building

Building included on the list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest and afforded statutory protection under the ‘Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997’ and other planning legislation. Classified categories A – C(s).

Littoral Sediment

Sediment moved by waves and currents of the littoral zone: the area between high and low water marks.

Local Road

An A, B or C classified road (non Trunk Road) typically operated by a local authority or council.


A connecting road, utilising a continuous curve in the connection of two roads within a junction.

Made Ground

Material deposited by man i.e. not natural.


Size, extent, scale and duration of an impact.


The principle road being considered, namely the A90/M90 or the road proposed as its replacement.


A link road accessing the main carriageway from a subsidiary road or junction.


Term used to indicate avoidance, remediation or alleviation of adverse impacts.

Natal Range

The territory in which the young where born.


A species occurring naturally, in its normal geographic range.

Net Present Value

The total present value of a time series of cash flows. It is a standard method for using the time value of money to appraise long-term projects.

Neutral Grassland

Grassland communities that grow on neutral soils (pH 5.5 – 7).

Non Prime Land

Agricultural land of Land Capability for Agriculture (LCA) classes 3.2 to 7.

Northern Route Corridor Options

The route corridor options considered north of the Firth of Forth connecting the proposed replacement bridge to existing roads infrastructure.

Northern Study Area

The area to the north of the Firth of Forth in which preliminary investigations have been undertaken as part of the Forth Replacement Crossing Project.

Open Space

Any land laid out as public parks or used for the purpose of public recreation, or land which is a disused burial ground.


The branch of zoology that deals with the study of birds.

Pedestrians and others

Pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians.

Phase 1 Habitat Survey

This identifies the different habitats that are contained within or make up a site, and the key plant species for each of those habitat types.

Plantation Woodland

Woodland of any age that obviously originated from planting.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)

Any of a class of carcinogenic organic molecules that consist of three or more benzene rings and are commonly produced by fossil fuel combustion.

Prime Agricultural Land

Agricultural land of Land Capability for Agriculture (LCA) classes 1, 2 and 3.

Proposed Replacement Bridge

The cable stayed bridge structure proposed as a replacement to the Forth Road Bridge.

Ramsar Sites

Internationally important wetland identified for conservation under the Ramsar convention (1971).

Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS)

Sites designated by regional geological groups on locally developed criteria, currently the most important places for geology and geomorphology outside statutorily protected land such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).


A shallow section of a river/stream where the water is fast-flowing over a gravel/cobble substrate.

Riparian Habitat

Natural home for plants and animals occurring in a thin strip of land bordering a stream or river.


The surface representing the top of the solid geological strata, i.e. below any drift deposits.


Any resting site used by bats including maternity roosts which are used by females and their young, hibernacula which are used during winter hibernation and transitional roosts which may be used at any time.


Water that flows over the ground surface to the drainage system. This occurs if the ground is impermeable or if permeable ground is saturated.


Belonging to the salmon family.

Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM)

A monument which has been scheduled by the Scottish Ministers as being of national importance under the terms of the ‘Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979’.


Climax vegetation dominated by locally native shrubs, usually less than 5m tall.

Semi-improved grassland

Grassland that has been modified by fertilizers, drainage or intensive grazing. Contain less species diversity than unimproved grasslands.

Semi-natural woodland

Woodland that does not obviously originate from planting. The distribution of species will generally reflect the variations in the site and the soil. Planted trees must account for less than 30% of the canopy composition.


The burrow system of badgers comprising a series of underground tunnels and chambers. There are several categories of sett including a main sett, annexe sett, subsidiary sett and outlier sett.


The separation of communities from facilities and services they use within their community. Alternatively, in relation to agricultural land, the division of plots of land into separate land parcels, potentially affecting access or creating areas that may be impractical for agricultural use.

Sites of Biological Importance (SBIs)

A non-statutory designation used locally by some local authorities to protect locally valued sites of biological diversity. Also known as Local Wildlife Sites.

Site of Importance to Nature Conservation (SINC)

Non-statutory designation which seeks to protect areas of high wildlife value at a local level.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Areas of national importance. The aim of the SSSI network is to maintain an adequate representation of all natural and semi-natural habitats and native species across Britain. The site network is protected under the provisions of Sections 28 and 19 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as well as the Amendment Act 1985 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Slip Road

A connector road facilitating access between one road and another.


A late Prehistoric underground chamber usually curvilinear in plan and stone lined with a narrow entrance. The function of such structures is unknown but there are theories that they were used for either storage or ritual.

Southern Route Corridor Options

The route corridors options considered south of the Firth of Forth connecting the proposed replacement bridge to existing roads infrastructure.

Southern Study Area

The area to the south of the Firth of Forth in which preliminary investigations have been undertaken as part of the Forth Replacement Crossing Project.

Special Area of Conservation (SAC)

An area designated under the EC Habitats Directive to ensure that rare, endangered or vulnerable habitats or species of community interest are either maintained at or restored to a favourable conservation status.

Special Protection Area (SPA)

An area designated under the Wild Birds Directive (Directive74/409/EEC) to protect important bird habitats. Implemented under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Under the Habitats Directive, all SPAs will be proposed Special Areas of Conservation.

Spoil Ground

An area within a body of water, especially in the sea, where dredged material is deposited.


Otter faeces.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

The process by which information about the environmental effects of proposed plans, policies and programmes are evaluated.

Strategic Transport Project Review (STPR)

A two year review of the Scottish transport network being undertaken by Transport Scotland. It aims to identify and prioritise road, rail and other interventions of national significance, which will be taken forward to improve the network. Through selecting which transport projects of national significance should be progressed, the STPR would also affect regional and local transport networks.

Superficial Deposits

The youngest geological deposits formed during the most recent period of geological time, the Quaternary, which extends back 1.8 million years from the present.

Surface Water Hydrology and Flood Risk

The study of water on or near the land surface.


The ability to accommodate change arising from the proposed road without adverse effect.

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS)

A sequence of management practices and control structures designed to drain surface water in a more sustainable fashion than some conventional techniques.


The minimum intensity or value of a signal etc that will produce a response or specified effect.


High concentrations of suspended sediment and particulates in the water column.


Refers to a type of architecture which is indigenous to a specific time or place.

Visual envelope

The visual envelope illustrates the extent of potential visibility to or from a specific area.

Vulnerable groups

Children, elderly and disabled.

Water Framework Directive (WFD)

Wide-ranging European environmental legislation (2000/60/EC). Addresses inland surface waters, estuarine and coastal waters and groundwater. The fundamental objective of the WFD is to maintain "high status" of waters where it exists, preventing any deterioration in the existing status of waters and achieving at least "good status" in relation to all waters by 2015.

Water Quality

The chemical and biological status of various parameters within the water column and their interactions, for example dissolved oxygen, indicator metals such as dissolved copper, or suspended solids (the movement of which is determined by hydrological process and forms geomorphological landforms).

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

Principal mechanism for wildlife protection in the UK.