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I am creating a vocabulary worksheet about the British countryside with its natural and typical features, and I'm stuck on how best to classify the animals living wild in the country.

The list of animals, mostly mammals, include: badgers, beavers, deer, foxes, hedgehogs, owls, rabbits, sparrows, squirrels, etc. Should I call them:

  1. Woodland creatures (or animals)
  2. Forest creatures (or animals)
  3. Country animals
  4. Countryside animals
  5. Animals in the woods/woodland/country/forest
  6. Wood animals (the least convincing of the lot because it sounds as if the animals are made of wood, but I include this option too)

Or do I simply call these animals wildlife? This would cover all the species, but I feel this is too large a group: I am sure lions, vultures, and crocodiles, to name but three, are also included.

  1. Wildlife

wildlife
animals, birds, insects, etc. that are wild and live in a natural environment

2 Answers 2

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I can only speak from experience, but as a person who grew up in a similar countryside to the one you describe, 'wildlife' is a perfectly suitable term to refer to wild animals specific to that area.

Perhaps a clearer definition of wildlife is this:

wild animals collectively; the native fauna (and sometimes flora) of a region.

The point being, that when we mention wildlife, we are referring to the wildlife of a specific geographical area. Yes, lions, vultures, and crocodiles are wildlife, but not of that region, and that distinction is implicit.

If you wish to make it absolutely clear, as mentioned in the comments, 'British Wildlife' would be a perfectly acceptable term to use. The British Wildlife Centre uses this term to describe wildlife native to Britain (not to mention, in the name of their organisation).

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  • So should I entitle it "British wildlife"? I would like to make that distinction clear. Would you mind including the link to the definition, or just the name of the dictionary? Thanks!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 9, 2016 at 11:20
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    'British Wildlife' would be perfectly acceptable I would think. And the British Wildlife Centre would probably agree :)
    – mike
    Dec 9, 2016 at 11:25
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You can say:
1. British/English woodland animals
2. The animals of the British/English countryside
3.The UK wildlife or
4. Fauna of England.

If you included farm animals, you could possibly use the term livestock

livestock
Farm animals such as cattle, pigs, and sheep, bred and kept for their meat or milk

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  • @Mari-LouA I saw that you mentioned Countryside animals which I suppose are livestock! And you didn't mention anything about a title. Dec 9, 2016 at 13:12
  • @Mari-LouA I get your point! Dec 9, 2016 at 14:20
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    If you could explain why you think "forest animals/creatures" might be unsuitable, I'll give an upvote.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 9, 2016 at 14:23
  • @Mari-LouA What kind of forest are we mentioning? Temperate deciduous forests or coniferous forests? A Tropical rainforest or maybe a Boreal forest? Dec 9, 2016 at 14:30
  • @Mari-LouA I'd say British countryside... Yeh, that's possible. English is too broad! Dec 9, 2016 at 14:43

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