TEXT A. INDUSTRIAL AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRICTS IN GREAT BRITAIN
North-west of London, in the midland counties (the Midlands) is a very important industrial district which is known as the "Black country". In Birmingham, the centre of this area, and in the manufacturing towns nearby, various goods are produced: machine tools, tubes, domestic metalware, rubber products, etc. The largest coal and iron fields in Britain are located in the Midlands. Further north is Manchester, one of the main centres for electrical and heavy engineering and for me production of a wide range of goods including computers, electronic equipment, petrochemicals, dye-stuffs and pharmaceuticals. The Manchester Ship Canal links Manchester with Liverpool, one of Britain's leading seaports.
East of Manchester is the city of Sheffield, well-known for its manufacture of high quality steels, tools and cutlery. A short railway journey to the north-east will take you from Manchester to Bradford, the commercial centre of the wool trade.
Further north is Newcastle situated on the North Sea coast, a city famous for its shipbuilding yards and its export of coal.
What is remarkable about the second half of the 20th century is the accelerating pace of change.
The Scottish economy has moved away from the traditional industries of coal, steel and shipbuilding. North-east Scotland is now the centre of offshore oil and gas industries. There has been a significant development in high-technology industries, such as chemicals, electronic engineering and information technology. In Scotland, the richest part is that of the Lowlands. Here there are coal and iron fields. Glasgow is the largest city, seaport and trading centre of Scotland.
Recent decades have seen fundamental changes in the Welsh economy. Wales is an important centre for consumer electronics, information technology, chemicals, and food and drink.
Although Britain is a densely populated, industrialized country, agriculture is still one of its most important industries. Dairying is most common in the west of England, where the wetter climate encourages the growth of good grass. Sheep and cattle are reared in the hilly and moorland areas of northern and south-western England. Its best farmland lies inthe south-eastern plains.
The south of England is rural, with many fertile valleys, well-cultivated fields and pastures.
The south-eastern coast is well-known for its picturesque scenery and mild climate and a number of popular resorts. On the southern coast of England there are many large ports, among them: Southampton, Portsmouth, Plymouth.
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