Pembrokeshire is a county in the southwest of Wales. It is bordered by Carmarthenshire to the east, Ceredigion to the northeast, the sea everywhere else; the county is home to Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the only national park in the United Kingdom established because of the coastline. Industry is nowadays focused on agriculture and gas, tourism. Mining and fishing were important activities; the county has a diverse geography with a wide range of geological features and wildlife. Its prehistory and modern history have been extensively studied, from tribal occupation, through Roman times, to Welsh and Flemish influences. Pembrokeshire County Council's headquarters are in the county town of Haverfordwest; the council has a majority of Independent members, but the county's representatives in both the Welsh and Westminster Parliaments are Conservative. Pembrokeshire's population was 122,439 at the 2011 census, an increase of 7.2 per cent from the 2001 figure of 114,131. Ethnically, the county is 99 per cent white and, for historical reasons, Welsh is more spoken in the north of the county than in the south.
The county town is Haverfordwest. Other towns include Pembroke, Pembroke Dock, Milford Haven, Tenby, Narberth and Newport. In the west of the county, St Davids is the United Kingdom's smallest city in terms of both size and population. Saundersfoot is the most populous village in Pembrokeshire. Less than 4 per cent of the county, according to CORINE, is green urban. See List of places in Pembrokeshire for a comprehensive list of settlements in Pembrokeshire. There are three weather stations in Pembrokeshire: at Tenby, Milford Haven and Penycwm, all on the coast. Milford Haven enjoys a mild climate and Tenby shows a similar range of temperatures throughout the year, while at Penycwm, on the west coast and 100m above sea level, temperatures are lower. Pembrokeshire, featured twice in the 2016 wettest places in Wales at Whitechurch in the north of the county and Scolton Country Park, near Haverfordwest. Orielton was the tenth driest place in Wales in 2016; the county has on average the highest coastal winter temperatures in Wales due to its proximity to the warm Atlantic Ocean.
Inland, average temperatures tend to fall 0.5 °C for each 100 metres increase in height. The air pollution rating of Pembrokeshire is "Good", the lowest rating; the rocks in the county were formed between 290 million years ago. More recent rock formations were eroded when sea levels rose 80 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous Period. Around 60 million years ago, the Pembrokeshire landmass emerged through a combination of uplift and falling sea levels; the landscape was subject to considerable change as a result of ice ages. While Pembrokeshire is not a seismically active area, in August 1892 there was a series of pronounced activities over a six-day period; the Pembrokeshire coastline includes sandy beaches. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the only park in the UK established because of its coastline, occupies more than a third of the county; the park contains the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, a near-continuous 186-mile long-distance trail from Amroth, by the Carmarthenshire border in the southeast, to St Dogmaels just down the River Teifi estuary from Cardigan, Ceredigion, in the north.
The National Trust owns 60 miles of Pembrokeshire's coast. Nowhere in the county is more than 10 miles from tidal water; the large estuary and natural harbour of Milford Haven cuts deep into the coast. Since 1975, the estuary has been bridged by the Cleddau Bridge, a toll bridge carrying the A477 between Neyland and Pembroke Dock. Large bays are Fishguard Bay, St Bride's Bay and western Carmarthen Bay. There are several small islands off the Pembrokeshire coast, the largest of which are Ramsey, Skokholm and Caldey. There are many known shipwrecks off the Pembrokeshire coast with many more undiscovered. A Viking wreck off The Smalls has protected status; the county has six lifeboat stations, the earliest of, established in 1822. Pembrokeshire's diverse range of geological features was a key factor in the establishment of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and a number of sites of special scientific interest. In the north of the county are the Preseli Hills, a wide stretch of high moorland supporting sheep farming and some forestry, with many prehistoric sites and the probable source of the bluestones used in the construction of the inner circle of Stonehenge in England.
The highest point is Foel Cwmcerwyn at 1,759 feet, the highest point in Pembrokeshire. Elsewhere in the county most of the land is used for farming, compared with 60 per cent for Wales as a whole. Pembrokeshire has a number of seasonal seabird breeding sites, including for razorbill, guillemot
St Kilda, Scotland
St Kilda is an isolated archipelago situated 64 kilometres west-northwest of North Uist, in the North Atlantic Ocean. It contains the westernmost islands of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland; the largest island is Hirta. Three other islands were used for grazing and seabird hunting; the islands are administratively a part of the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar local authority area. The origin of the name St Kilda is a matter of conjecture; the islands' human heritage includes numerous unique architectural features from the historic and prehistoric periods, although the earliest written records of island life date from the Late Middle Ages. The medieval village on Hirta was rebuilt in the 19th century, but illnesses brought by increased external contacts through tourism, the upheaval of the First World War contributed to the island's evacuation in 1930; the story of St Kilda has attracted artistic interpretations, including Michael Powell's film The Edge of the World and an opera. Permanent habitation on the islands extends back at least two millennia, the population never exceeding 180.
The entire remaining population was evacuated from Hirta in 1930. The islands house a unique form of stone structure known as cleitean. A cleit is bothy. There are known to be a further 170 on the other group islands; the only year-round residents are military personnel. The entire archipelago is owned by the National Trust for Scotland, it became one of Scotland's six World Heritage Sites in 1986, is one of the few in the world to hold mixed status for both its natural and cultural qualities. Parties of volunteers work on the islands in the summer to restore the many ruined buildings that the native St Kildans left behind, they share the island with a small military base established in 1957. Two different early sheep types have survived on these remote islands, the Soay, a Neolithic type, the Boreray, an Iron Age type; the islands are a breeding ground for many important seabird species including northern gannets, Atlantic puffins, northern fulmars. The St Kilda wren and St Kilda field mouse are endemic subspecies.
Various theories have been proposed for the origin of the name Kilda, which dates from the late 16th century. No saint is known by the name. Haswell-Smith notes that the full name St Kilda first appears on a Dutch map dated 1666, that it might have been derived from Norse sunt kelda or from a mistaken Dutch assumption that the spring Tobar Childa was dedicated to a saint.. Martin Martin, who visited in 1697, believed that the name "is taken from one Kilder, who lived here. Maclean suggests it comes from a corruption of the Old Norse name for the spring on Hirta and states that a 1588 map identifies the archipelago as Kilda, he speculates that it refers to the Culdees, anchorites who might have brought Christianity to the island, or be a corruption of the Gaelic name for the main island of the group, since the islanders tended to pronounce r as l, thus habitually referred to the island as Hilta. Steel adds weight to the idea, noting that the islanders pronounced the H with a "somewhat guttural quality", making the sound they used for Hirta "almost" Kilta.
St Kilda speakers interviewed by the School of Scottish Studies in the 1960s show individual speakers using t-initial forms, leniting to /h/, e.g. ann an Tirte and gu Hirte. Maclean further suggests that the Dutch made a cartographical error, confused Hirta with Skildar, the old name for Haskeir island much nearer the main Outer Hebrides archipelago. Quine hypothesises that the name is derived from a series of cartographical errors, starting with the use of the Old Icelandic Skildir and appearing as Skildar on a map by Nicholas de Nicolay. This, so the hypothesis goes, was transcribed in error by Lucas J. Waghenaer in his 1592 charts without the trailing r and with a full stop after the S, creating S. Kilda; this was in turn assumed to stand for a saint by others, creating the form, used for several centuries, St Kilda. The origin of Hirta, which long pre-dates St Kilda, is open to interpretation. Martin avers that "Hirta is taken from the Irish Ier, which in that language signifies west". Maclean offers several options, including an Celtic word meaning "gloom" or "death", or the Scots Gaelic h-Iar-Tìr.
Drawing on an Icelandic saga describing an early 13th-century voyage to Ireland that mentions a visit to the islands of "Hirtir", he speculates that the shape of Hirta resembles a stag. Steel quotes the view of Reverend Neil Mackenzie, who lived there from 1829 to 1844, that the name is derived from the Gaelic Ì Àrd, a further possibility that it is from the Norse Hirt. In a similar vein, Murray speculates. All the names of and on the islands are discussed by Coates, it has been known for some time that St Kilda was continuously inhabited for two millennia or more, from the Bronze Age to the 20th century. The first direc
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
Stellaria media, chickweed, is an annual flowering plant in the carnation family Caryophyllaceae. It is native to Europe, but naturalized in many parts of North America, it is used as a cooling herbal remedy, grown as a vegetable crop and ground cover for both human consumption and poultry. It is sometimes called common chickweed to distinguish it from other plants called chickweed. Other common names include chickenwort, maruns, winterweed; the plant germinates in autumn or late winter forms large mats of foliage. The plants are annual and with weak slender stems, they reach a length up to 40 cm. Sparsely hairy, with hairs in a line along the stem; the leaves are the lower ones with stalks. Flowers are white and small with 5 deeply lobed petals; the stamens are 3 and the styles 3. The flowers are followed by the seed pods; this plant sets seed at the same time. Stellaria media is widespread in North America and Asia. There are several related plants referred to as chickweed, but which lack the culinary properties of plants in the genus Stellaria.
Plants in the genus Cerastium are similar in appearance to Stellaria and are in the same family. Stellaria has fine hairs on the sepals. Other members of the family Caryophyllaceae which resemble Stellaria have hairs uniformly covering the entire stem, it has 3 styles, 3-5 8 stamens, variously stated as 8 stamens by Keble Martin and 3 by Clapham and Warburg. Common in lawns, waste places and open areas; the larvae of the European moth yellow shell, of North American moths pale-banded dart or dusky cutworm or North American butterfly dainty sulphur all feed on chickweed. In both Europe and North America this plant is common in gardens and disturbed grounds where it grows as a ground cover. Stellaria media is edible and nutritious, is used as a leaf vegetable raw in salads, it is one of the ingredients of the symbolic dish consumed in the Japanese spring-time festival, Nanakusa-no-sekku. Stellaria media contains plant chemicals known as saponins, which can be toxic to some species when consumed in large quantities.
Chickweed has been known to cause saponin poisoning in cattle. However, as the animal must consume several kilos of chickweed in order to reach a toxic level, such deaths are rare; the plant is used in folk medicine. It has been used as a remedy to treat pulmonary diseases. 17th century herbalist John Gerard recommended it as a remedy for mange. Modern herbalists prescribe it for iron-deficiency anemia, as well as for skin diseases, rheumatic pains and period pain. Not all of these uses are supported by scientific evidence; the plant was used by the Ainu for aching bones. Stems were steeped in hot water before being applied externally to affected areas; the anthraquinones emodin and questin, the flavonoid kaempferol-3,7-O-α-L-dirhamnoside, the phytosterols β-sitosterol and daucosterol, the fatty alcohol 1-hexacosanol can be found in S. media. Other flavonoid constituents are apigenin 6-C-beta-D-galactopyranosyl-8-C-alpha-L-arabinopyranoside, apigenin 6-C-alpha-L-arabinopyranosyl-8-C-beta-D-galactopyranoside, apigenin 6-C-beta-D-galactopyranosyl-8-C-beta-L-arabinopyranoside, apigenin 6-C-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-8-C-beta-D-galactopyranoside, apigenin 6, 8-di-C-alpha-L-arabinopyranoside.
The plant contains triterpenoid saponins of the hydroxylated oleanolic acid type. Proanthocyanidins are present in the testa of seeds. Stellaria is derived from the word'stellar' meaning'star', a reference to the shape of its flowers. Media is derived from Latin and means'between','intermediate', or'mid-sized'. Nanakusa-no-sekku Everitt, J. H.. L.. R.. Weeds in South Texas and Northern Mexico. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press. ISBN 0-89672-614-2 Tilford, Gregory L.. Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West. Mountain Press Publishing Company. ISBN 0-87842-359-1
Firth of Forth
The Firth of Forth is the estuary of several Scottish rivers including the River Forth. It meets the North Sea with Lothian on the south, it was known as Bodotria in Roman times. In the Norse sagas it was known as the Myrkvifiörd. An early Welsh name is Merin Iodeo, or the "Sea of Iudeu". Geologically, the Firth of Forth is a fjord, formed by the Forth Glacier in the last glacial period; the drainage basin for the Firth of Forth covers a wide geographic area including places as far from the shore as Ben Lomond, Harthill and the edges of Gleneagles Golf Course. Many towns line the shores, as well as the petrochemical complexes at Grangemouth, commercial docks at Leith, former oil rig construction yards at Methil, the ship-breaking facility at Inverkeithing and the naval dockyard at Rosyth, along with numerous other industrial areas, including the Forth Bridgehead area, encompassing Rosyth and the southern edge of Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy, Bo'ness and Leven; the firth is bridged in two places. The Kincardine Bridge and the Clackmannanshire Bridge cross it at Kincardine, while the Forth Bridge, the Forth Road Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing cross from North Queensferry to South Queensferry, further east.
The Romans made a bridge of around 900 boats at South Queensferry. From 1964 to 1982, a tunnel existed under the Firth of Forth, dug by coal miners to link the Kinneil colliery on the south side of the Forth with the Valleyfield colliery on the north side; this is shown in the 1968 educational film "Forth - Powerhouse for Industry". The shafts leading into the tunnel were filled and capped with concrete when the tunnel was closed, it is believed to have filled with water or collapsed in places. In July, 2007, a hovercraft passenger service completed a two-week trial between Portobello and Kirkcaldy, Fife; the trial of the service was hailed as a major operational success, with an average passenger load of 85 percent. It was estimated the service would decrease congestion for commuters on the Forth road and rail bridges by carrying about 870,000 passengers each year. Despite the initial success, the project was cancelled in December, 2011; the inner firth, located between the Kincardine and Forth bridges, has lost about half of its former intertidal area as a result of land reclamation for agriculture, but for industry and the large ash lagoons built to deposit spoil from the coal-fired Longannet Power Station near Kincardine.
Historic villages line the Fife shoreline. The firth is a Site of Special Scientific Interest; the Firth of Forth Islands SPA is home to more than 90,000 breeding seabirds every year. There is a bird observatory on the Isle of May; the youngest person to swim across the Firth of Forth was 13-year-old Joseph Feeney, who accomplished the feat in 1933. In 2008, a controversial bid to allow oil transfer between ships in the firth was refused by Forth Ports. SPT Marine Services had asked permission to transfer 7.8 million tonnes of crude oil per year between tankers, but the proposals were met with determined opposition from conservation groups. Bass Rock Craigleith Cramond Eyebroughy Fidra Inchcolm Inchgarvie Inchkeith Inchmickery with Cow and Calf The Lamb Isle of May lowest bridging point: Stirling North shore South shore Isle of May bird observatory Forthfast experimental hovercraft service, 16–28 July 2007 Inchcolm Virtual Tour Take a virtual tour around some of the Inchcolm's military defences