England (in Latin, Anglia), country and constituent part of the island of Great Britain, comprising, with the principality of Wales, the principal division of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. England occupies all of the island east of Wales and south of Scotland, another country and division of the United Kingdom. United as an independent monarchy in the 10th century, England in time achieved political control over the rest of the island, all the British Isles, and vast sections of the world, becoming the nucleus of one of the largest empires in history. The capital, largest city, and chief port of England is London, with a population of 7,172,036 (2001). It is also the capital of the United Kingdom, and the site of the headquarters of the Commonwealth of Nations. Name : United Kingdom. Capital : London
One of the principal physiographical features of England, as well as of the entire island of Great Britain, is the deeply indented coastline. This has created an abundance of excellent natural harbours, easily accessible to deep-water shipping, a factor that was decisive in the economic development and imperial expansion of England. The high tides that prevail along the eastern coast mean that a number of rivers and estuaries in this region provide safe anchorages.
The most important historically include ports such as Newcastle upon Tyne, on the River Tyne; Middlesbrough, on the River Tees; and Hull and Grimsby, on the Humber Estuary and North Sea respectively, all on the north-east coast; Great Yarmouth, on the estuary of the River Yare and Harwich on the estuary of the rivers Stour and Orwell, both on the East Anglian coast; and London, on the River Thames in the south-east. Historically, the most important ports on the south coast include Dover, Folkestone, Portsmouth, Southampton, and Poole. The western coast, including the south-western peninsula, is considerably more broken than either the eastern or southern coasts, and has numerous anchorages, both large and small. The most important are Plymouth, on the estuary of the River Tamar on the southern coast of the south-western peninsula; Bristol, on the Bristol Channel; and the port of Liverpool, at the mouth of the River Mersey on the north-west coast.
Tempered by the surrounding seas, and especially by the warm Gulf Stream, the climate of England is mild relative to the country’s latitude, which is similar to that of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. It is rarely marked by extremes of heat or cold. The mean annual temperature ranges between 11.1° C (52° F) in the south and 8.9° C (48° F) in the north-east. Seasonal mean temperatures vary between about 16.1° C (61° F) during July, the hottest month of the year, and 4.4° C (40° F) during January, the coldest month. The average January and July temperatures for London, which has its own, warmer, microclimate, are 4.5° C (40° F) and 18° C (64° F), respectively. Mists and overcast skies (and in some areas fog) are frequent, particularly in the Pennines and inland regions. Precipitation, heaviest during October, averages about 760 mm (30 in) annually in most of England, although the west coast tends to be wetter than the east. Snow can fall over any part of England during the winter, but tends to be most common and to lie longest in the north-eastern Pennines.
In early times, England, like most of the island of Great Britain, was heavily forested, chiefly with oak and beech in the lowlands and pine and birch in the mountainous areas. Woodlands now constitute about 8 percent of the total land area. Various types of fruit trees are cultivated, including the cherry, apple, and plum. A common shrub is a species of furze known locally as gorse. Numerous varieties of wildflowers are also found. Among the chief indigenous fauna of England are several species of deer, fox, rabbit, hare, and badger. The most widespread bird is the meadow pipit, and sparrows are abundant. Grouse are found in the northern counties. Other familiar species are the crow, pigeon, rook, starling, and several members of the thrush family. Reptiles, of which only four species occur on the entire island of Great Britain, are rare in England. The most common freshwater fishes found in England are trout and salmon. © Written by E. BUCHOT and Encarta
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