The Living World

The Living World is where we explore the rich variety animal and plant species that you can find in the High Peak and further afield.

First, we briefly lay the ground of the varieties of life we cover. We open paths for you to explore the different forms of wildlife and plantlife, their relationships in the evolutionary web of life and their relative abundance in terms of biodiversity.

We provide numerous links that will help you explore the wildlife and plantlife you can find around Buxton and the High Peak. These species are intimately related to the habitats that we have, which we explore in our pages and links under The Wildlife Places. If we don’t have the right habitats, then we are very unlikely to find the species that depend upon those habitats. 

The Living World: the varieties of life

The current scientific consensus sorts and classifies the infinite variety of life into a ranked taxonomic hierarchy based on the concepts of:


Three domains are currently recognised: Archaea, Bacteria and Eukaryotes.

Prokaryotes (single cells, no nucleus):

Eukaryotes (single and multiple cells, with nuclei)

All animals, plants, fungi and many unicellular organisms, such as amoebae, are eukaryotes.


The number of kingdoms recognised by science has grown and is now generally reckoned to be six, as listed below. In these pages we cover species found in the first 3 (animals, plants and fungi) and some of the fourth (protista, e.g. slime moulds):




Protista: a large group of mainly single-celled, microscopic organisms defined more by their not being either animal, plant or fungus than being a natural group. They include: amoebae, choanoflagellates, ciliates, dinoflagellates, diatoms , slime moulds and others.

Archaea (Archaebacteria)

Bacteria (Eubacteria)

A useful directory of species

This is an interesting website to visit if you are after a directory of all the species, using the Linnaean (Latin) classification, but also available in multiple languages. It covers Animalia, Plantae, Fung, Bacteria, Archaea, Protista and  all other forms of life. It is free and anyone can edit it, and to date has over 868,000 entries. Probably for the specialist, and should be used with the usual Wikipedia cautions re accuracy, but if would appear to be generally very good quality.

The Living World: Wildlife, plantlife and biodiversity in the High Peak

The High Peak area around Buxton is an environment with a range of habitats characteristic of middle and higher level terrain in the north-west European temperate zone. Visit our pages under The Wildlife Places for more information on these.

The wildlife and plantlife we can find in the area are characteristic of these habitats, either as year-long inhabitants or as visitors. You can explore the wide variety of species that can be found in the High Peak by clicking on the buttons in the following section.

The BFC Records Group and members are active contributors to the iNaturalist database (see our pages under The Records section). You can add your own observations to these records and help increase our knowledge. Find out how by visiting our How to record wildlife page.

High Peak wildlife currently recorded on iNaturalist

For these buttons to work properly you will need to be registered and logged into iNaturalist. This is a free and extremely useful app. See our ‘How to record wildlife’ page for more information and tips on how to use it.

Takes you to the up-to-date list of all observations within the High Peak area for the major categories of species of animals and plants. Specific lists for different categories of wildlife can be found on the pages linked below.

Buxton wildlife currently recorded on iNaturalist

Takes you to the up-to-date searchable map and list of all observations within the ‘Buxton polygon’ area for the major categories of species of animals and plants. Specific lists for different categories of wildlife can be found on the pages linked below.

Find out more about wildlife species in the High Peak

Titles which highlight a blue background when you hover over them will take you to the page for that kingdom or class of wildlife.

Animals (Animalia)


Bird species that you can expect to find in the High Peak, plus links to guidance and websites that will help you explore the fascinating world of birds in depth, including how to identify them by sight and by their songs and calls.

The many species of mammals and the 8 orders that those species are grouped under, and those species that you may see in the High Peak if you know where to look.

Snakes, lizards and slow worms. Frogs, toads and newts.

Trout, dace, bullheads and sticklebacks.

Insects, spiders, centipedes and millipedes. Crayfish and shrimps. Slugs and snails. Earthworms, nematodes and flatworms. And more.

Trees, wildflowers, grasses, sedges and rushes. Ferns, horsetails and club mosses. Mosses, liverworts and hornworts. And algae.

Fungi (Fungi)

Mushrooms with pores, mushrooms with gills, mushrooms with false gills, coral fungi and tooth fungi.  Crust fungi and bracket fungi, jelly fungi, puffballs and stinkhorns, sac fungi.

Mycelial networks and their intimate relationship with plants. The woodwide web.

Crustose lichens, foliose lichens, fruticose and cladonia lichens.

The symbiosis between fungi and algae.

Protists (Protista)

Slime Moulds (Myxomycetes) used to be classified as fungi but now they are grouped with the mainly single celled organisms (such as Amoeba) known as Protists. Slime moulds can exist as single cells but are also known to combine together into large aggregations for feeding and reproduction.