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United Kingdom

Throughout recorded history the UK has consisted of multiple cultural groups and identities and from an early stage, the varied environments of the islands encouraged a great regional diversity of culture (James 2011). The settlers who crossed the North Sea to Britain eventually mixed with substantial surviving indigenous populations which, in many areas, apparently formed the majority. Contrary to the traditional idea that Britain originally possessed a Celtic uniformity, which first Roman, then Saxon and other invaders disrupted, in reality Britain has always been home to multiple peoples (James 2011). The British people were thought to be descended from the varied ethnic stocks that settled there before the 11th century, the pre-Celts, Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Norse and the Normans (James 2011). Recent analysis indicates that the British could broadly share a common ancestry with the Basque people (Oppenheimer 2006). In recent years, there were initiatives of the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) to recognise crofters, small-scale subsistence farmers in the Scottish Highlands, as indigenous peoples but the UK Government has refused to ratify UN legislation on indigenous rights, arguing there are no indigenous peoples in the UK, though they have ratified legislation that recognises Gaelic as one of the indigenous languages of the UK (Farmers Guardian 2008). Though the UK has no `indigenous´ peoples, there are still local communities who have taken their own initiatives to conserve their land. People still have a strong relationship with nature and there is a need to protect their forest patches or other ecosystems and wildlife. There are communities which conserve their small meadow for enjoyment and leisure. There are people who conserve their forest patches for their children and next generations. There are communities, which conserve their forest for contribution to biodiversity and for sustainable use of resources. These different CCA types can all conform to the ICCA criteria. CCAs can be seen here as a subset of ICCAs as these areas are represent in many countries, in developing and developed countries as well as in the North and in the South.