Britain is a relatively smaller country. With the widespread influences of a warm sea and westerly winds, there are no extreme contrasts in temperature. The climate is mainly temperate with variations between coolness and mildness.
Britain is not a particularly sunny country, although there are periods of relief from the general grayness. The amount of sunshine varies between regions. It decreases from the south to north, inward from the coast and with altitude. Rainfall is mainly found in the west and the north.
Britain has a long agricultural history, over a series of revolutions in farming and methods. Agriculture is an important industry today and covers much of the country. Mainly grown products are apples, berries, flowers and vegetables. It has an efficient system with mechanized and specialized farming. The technological advances have increased crop and animal yields.
Half of the country’s full-time farms specialize in dairy farming, beef cattle and sheep herds. Sheep farming is among the long established traditions of Britain. Root crops are grown in southern and eastern England, and in eastern Scotland. Grain crops are concentrated in the eastern regions of England.
Britain’s fishing industry is one of Europe’s leading industries. It operates mainly in continental waters, the North Sea, Irish Sea and the Atlantic. It is centered on a number of ports around British coasts.
The main British fish catches are cod, haddock, whiting, herring, mackerel, plaice, sole and various types of shellfish. Fishmeal and fish oil are the important by-products of fisheries.
4. Forestry and Energy Resources:
The Timber industry is an important industry of Great Britain, but it is privatized. Import of wood is done on a large scale.
Britain is rich in current and reserve energy resources. Its primary sources are oil, natural gas, nuclear power, coal and waterpower, and the most secondary source is electricity.
Transport facilities in Britain are divided between the public and private sectors. Roads, Railways, Shipping, Civil aviation account for most of the country’s transport infrastructure. Central and local governments are responsible for road networks. The motorways, trunk roads carry most of the passenger traffic and heavy goods vehicles.
Critics argue that British roads are in a bad state and the repair/modernization process is inadequate. Private road haulage has a dominant position in the movement of inland freight.
Railways, shipping fleet also need to be properly maintained. Airport expansion must also be done to meet European competition.
The public and private sectors also manage communications. British Telecom was privatized in 1980’s. The Post office is not yet privatized and needs attention. The local post offices provide the people with postal and other services.
The physical face of Britain has become dirtier in both urban and rural areas. Being small and densely populated, the country faces the side effects of environmental pollution. This issue is high on British’s list of concern, yet critics say it is not seriously dealt with. Air, Sea and beach pollution are a considerate threat to people’s health. Increased freight and private transport has resulted in traffic congestion, noise and damage to roads and property.
Problems have also been experienced in the agriculture industry and exploitation of energy resources.
Serious thought and action are needed to preserve the county’s resources, both natural and man-made.