of Northern Ireland.
Ireland is at its nearest point only 21km (13 miles) from Scotland.
It has 488-km (303-mile) border in the south and vest with the Irish
Republic. At its centre lies Lough Neagh, Britain’s largest
freshwater lake (381sq km, 147sq miles). Many of the principal towns
lie in valleys leading from the lough, including the capital,
Belfast, which stands at the mouth of the river Lagan. The Mourne
Mountains, rising sharply in the south-east, include Slieve Donard,
Northern Ireland’s highest peak (852 m, 2,796 ft).
countryside contains rich variety of wildlife, with some species not
found elsewhere in Britain. There are 71 national nature reserves and
over 1,300 Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Four regional parks
and 40 national scenic areas have been designated, covering 13 per
cent of the land surface. Four of the 11 forest parks in Great
Britain are in Scotland, and a fifth spans the border between
Scotland and England.
Environment of Whales
are extensive areas of picturesque hill, lake and mountain country,
and the countryside supports a variety of plants and wildlife. There
are three National Parks (Snowdonia, the Brecon Becons and the
Pembrokeshire Coast), five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and
two national trails as well as 31 country parks and large stretches
of heritage coast. There are about 50 National Nature Reserves and
over 800 Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Nearly all of the
rivers and canals are classified as having water of good or fair
quality, and a significant improvement has been achieved in the
quality of bathing waters.
Position of Great Britain.
United Kingdom is situated on the British Isles. The British Isles
consist of two large islands, Great Britain and Ireland, and a great
number of small islands. Their total area is over 244,000 sq. km.
British Isles are separated from the European continent by the North
Sea and the English Channel. The western coast of Great Britain is
washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea.
Ireland occupies one third of the island of Ireland. It borders on
the Irish Republic in the south. The island of Great Britain consists
of three main parts: England (the southern and middle part of the
island), Wales (a mountainous peninsula in the west) and Scotland
(the northern part of the island).
are no high mountains in Great Britain. In the north the Cheviots
(the Cheviot Hills) separate England almost along its middle, the
Cambrian mountains occupy the greater part of Wales and the Highlands
of Scotland are the tallest of the British mountains. Ben Nevis, the
tallest peak of the Highlands, is only 1,343 m high.
is very little country except in the region known as East Anglia.
of the rivers flow into the North Sea. The Thames is the deepest and
the longest of the British rivers, it is over 300 km long. Some of
the British greatest ports are situated in the estuaries of the
Thames, Mersey, Tyne , Clyde and Bristol Avon.
Britain is not very rich in mineral resources, it has some deposits
of coal, and iron ore and vast deposits of oil and gas that were
discovered in the North Sea. The warm currents in the Atlantic Ocean
influence the climate of Great Britain.
forms the greater part of the British Isles, which lie off the
north-west coast of mainland Europe. Its weather is changeable, but
there are few extremes of temperature. Britain is major world
producer of oil, natural gas and coal. Since 1980 it has been
self-sufficient in energy in net terms.
covers nearly 2-4 hectares in Britain: about 13 per cent of Scotland,
12 per cent of Wales, 73 per cent of England, and 52 per cent of
Northern Ireland. British woodlands meet 12 per cent of the country’s
consumption of wood and wood products.
three-quarters of Britain’s varied landscape is used for
for pollution control rests with local and central government.
Integrated pollution control restricts emissions to air, land and
water from the most harmful processes. Recycling of waste will be a
duty of local government.
National Rivers Authority protects inland waters in England and
Wales. In Scotland the river purification authorities are responsible
for water pollution control.
emissions of smoke in the air have fallen by over 85 per cent since
1960. Sulphur dioxide emissions have fallen by about 40 per cent
since 1970. Britain has adopted a phased programme of reductions in
sulphur dioxide emissions form existing large combustion plants of up
to 60 per cent by 2003. It has also agreed to reduce nitrogen oxide
emissions by up to 30 per cent by 1998. Over 95 per cent of petrol
stations in Britain stock unleaded petrol. Strict controls have
reduced carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions.
Government is committed to the elimination of chlorofluorocarbons,
which damage the ozone layer. They also contribute to the greenhouse
effect, which leads to global warming and rise in sea levels.
stresses the need for improvement in understanding the science of
There are nearly 500,000
protected buildings, and 7,000 conservation areas of architectural or
historical interest, in Britain. The Government supports the work of
the voluntary sector in preserving the national heritage. Green belts
are where land should be left open and free from urban sprawl. The
Government attaches great importance to their protection. National
parks cover 9 per cent of the total land area of England and Wales.
Some 38 areas of outstanding natural beauty have been designed - 13
per cent of the same land area. Three regional parks and 40 national
scenic areas cover 13 per cent of Scotland. Care is taken to control
development on parts of the coastline.