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9. What are England's Natural resources?

Naural resources are things that occur naturally, and that are useful to us. They include fuels such as oil and natural gas, and materials such as iron ore, and timber. Natural resources may be renewable or non-renewable.Renewable resources are those that are replaced in nature at a rate close to their rate of use eg plants and animals. Nonrenewable resources exist in fixed amounts or are used up faster than they can be replaced in nature eg. fossil fuels. The most important natural in England are its energy resources which generate about 10 per cent income for our country. Natural resources: coal, petroleum, natural gas - found in the British sector of the North Sea, zinc tin, limestone, iron ore, salt, slate, clay, chalk, gypsum, lead, silica, arable land.

Coal (non- renewable resources)

England has large deposits of coal, mined for more than 300 years. For most of the 19th and 20th centuries, coal was England's richest natural resource, meeting most of the nation's requirement for energy. Today, coal can be produced more cheaply in other countries and so many British factories and mines have closed. In 1970 we were the third largest producer of coal but coal production has declined rapidly sine then. In 2000, only 35 million tonnes of coal was produced compared to 145 million in 1970. Areas like south Wales, central Scotland, the north of England (the Midlands, Merseyside, Manchester, West Yorkshire and Newcastle) and London were important industrial centres.

Oil and Gas (non- renewable resources)

Oil and gas were discovered under the North Sea during the 1960s and new supplies are still being found today. Gas has been particularly important in replacing coal as a fuel for generating electricity.

Wind Power (renewable resources)

The business of generating electricity from the wind is growing fast as the world looks for cleaner ways to produce energy. Coal, oil and gas fired power stations could eventually be replaced by wind farms and other forms or renewable energy. In 1997, there were 550 wind turbines and over 30 wind farms in the UK. The government has made a promise that 10% of the energy of the UK will come from renewable sources by 2010.

Minerals (non- renewable resources)

England has relatively few mineral resources. Zinc, tin, iron ore, and copper are all produced in small quantities. Our main commercial minerals are those used in the construction and building industries such as sand and gravel, limestone and gypsum. They are normally mined from the surface in quarries using heavy machinery. Smaller quarries are also found across England and provide stone for the local building industry. This means that many parts of England have a distinctive appearance according to the local stone available.

Farming (Agriculture)

Products (1.4% of GDP): cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables, cattle, sheep, poultry, fish. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with only 1% of the labor force. The lowlands support some farming such as wheat, potatoes and vegetables. Dairy and sheep farming are common in the hilly pastures.

Britain's Economy

The UK is the world’s fourth largest economy and has weathered the recent economic downturn better than any other G8 country. The UK Governments economic strategy aims to improve growth and employment by creating economic stability based on low inflation and prudent government borrowing, and a better environment for long-term investment in industry, infrastructure, science and technology, and education and training. Britain's economy is based primarily on private enterprise which accounts for approximately four-fifths of both output and employment. Since the global recession of 1990 – 1992 the UK has experienced continuous growth and low inflation. Employment levels are the highest ever recorded. The UK is Europe's leading business center and has the least restricted business environment within the EU. Economist Intelligence Unit e-readiness rankings, 2003 rate the UK in third place globally, equal to the US and the Netherlands, well ahead of Germany and Japan in 13th and 24th places, respectively. The service sector accounts for about two-thirds of GDP and the UK has easily the largest financial services trade surplus in the world. London remains the largest center in the world for international financial services business and London's pre-eminence in Europe's financial services industry is increasing, with international banks centralizing many of their European operations in London. Britain's absence from the Euro has not prevented London from becoming effectively the international financial capital for the Euro; 31% of global foreign exchange trading of Euros is done in London.

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