The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Ross-shire is a historic county in the Scottish Highlands. The county borders Sutherland, Inverness-shire and an exclave of Nairnshire, it includes most of Ross as well as Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Dingwall is the traditional county town; the area of Ross-shire was based on that of the historic province of Ross, but with the exclusion of the many exclaves that formed Cromartyshire. For shreival purposes the area was first separated from the authority of the sheriff of Inverness by Act of Parliament during the reign of James IV, the sheriff to sit at Tain or Dingwall. Sheriffs were appointed, further acts of 1649 and 1661 restated its separation from Inverness; the 1661 act clarified the area encompassed, based on the pre-Reformation Diocese of Ross. Sir George Mackenzie's Ross-shire estates were transferred to Cromartyshire by a 1685 Act of Parliament; the Local Government Act 1889 provided that "the counties of Ross and Cromarty shall cease to be separate counties, shall be united for all purposes whatsoever, under the name of the county of Ross and Cromarty."
The two counties that became the single local government county of Ross and Cromarty, which continued to be used for local government purposes until 1975, although Ross-shire remained as the postal county for the mainland part of the local government county until 1996. In 1975, Ross and Cromarty was itself replaced by the Highland region and the Western Isles, under the Local Government Act 1973; the region became a unitary council area under the Local Government etc.. Act 1994. There was a Ross-shire constituency of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1708 to 1801, of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832. In 1832 it was merged with the Cromartyshire constituency to form the Ross and Cromarty constituency. Wester Ross is well known for its mountain scenery the Torridon Hills which includes such peaks as Beinn Eighe and Liathach. Easter Ross is less mountainous, consists of towns and farmland bordering the Moray Firth. Lewis is the northern part of Lewis and Harris, the largest island of the Western Isles, is, in general, the lower-lying part of the island.
Due to its flatter, more fertile land, Lewis contains three-quarters of the population of the Western Isles, the largest settlement, Stornoway. Mormaer of Ross Bishop of Ross James McKenzie Map of Ross-shire on Wikishire
Kintail is an area of mountains in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland, located in the Highland Council area. It consists of the mountains to the north of Glen Shiel and the A87 road between the heads of Loch Duich and Loch Cluanie. Although close to the west coast the mountains lie on the main east-west watershed of Scotland, as the northern side of Kintail drains via Glen Affric to the east coast. Kintail gives its name to the Kintail National Scenic Area, one of the forty national scenic areas in Scotland, which are defined so as to identify areas of exceptional scenery and to ensure its protection from inappropriate development; the designated area includes the mountains of Kintail proper, as well as the southern side of Glen Shiel from the site of the Battle of Glen Shiel west to the shores of Loch Duich, extends west to as far as Dornie on the north shore of Loch Duich. The designated area covers 17,149 ha in total, of which 16,070 ha is on land, with a further 1079 ha being marine, consisting of the sea loch of Loch Duich.
The area is considered to encapsulate the scenery of the west highlands, being composed of ridges and peaks that rise steeply from narrow glens and the sea. The main settlement within Kintail is Morvich, located to the northwest of the mountains, just off the A87 road. Morvich serves as the location of the base for Kintail Mountain Rescue Team, as well a campsite operated by The Caravan Club; the hills to the north-east of Glen Shiel are known as the Five Sisters Of Kintail, form a high ridge some 8 km long rising steeply from Glen Shiel to a maximum height of 1,067 metres. According to legend, the five sisters are the oldest of seven sisters, as the youngest two sisters fell in love with two Irish princes who washed ashore during a storm, their father would only allow them to marry once the older sisters has been married, so the princes agreed to send their other five brothers once they had returned to Ireland with their new wives. Although the princes failed to appear, the five sisters continued to wait turning into mountains to extend their vigil into eternity.
The five distinctly pointed summits are a popular hillwalking expedition. Three of the Five Sisters, which are all over 3,000 feet, are classified as full Munros, with the other two being subsidiary Munro tops; the ridge containing the Five Sisters continues unbroken to the east where it takes in a further three Munros which are known as the Brothers of Kintail. Beinn Fhada is the other main mountain in the area. Most of Kintail is owned by the National Trust for Scotland; the Trust's Kintail and Morvich estate covers 74 square kilometres and includes the Falls of Glomach, one of the highest waterfalls in Great Britain. The estate was purchased for the NTS in 1944 by Percy Unna, the Scottish Mountaineering Club president who acquired Glen Coe for the Trust. NTS operate an outdoor education centre in Morvich, which provides accommodation for groups such as school parties undertaking field studies and outdoor pursuits. Bird species found within Kintail include golden eagles and black-throated divers.
Otters are common, pine martens inhabit the wooded parts of the area, whilst red deer can be seen on the lower slopes of the mountains. Kintail is home to herd of feral goats, thought to be descendants of goats first brought to Britain in around 3000 BCE by neolithic farmers. Due to this origin they are considered non-native, as there are no top predators for goats NTS are considering a cull to reduce the herd, which numbers around 100, in order to reduce pressures on vegetation and allow the area of land covered by native woodland to increase. A 1.75 m high, 2,000-year-old standing stone known as Cill Fhearchair stands within a burial ground near Shiel Bridge. A large boulder lying on the steep southwest slopes of Sgùrr na Ciste Duibhe is known as "Prince Charlie's Stone", as it the place where Charles Edward Stuart spent a day in the summer of 1746 hiding from government troops. At the time he had a £30,000 bounty on his head after fleeing after the Battle of Culloden. National Trust for Scotland – Kintail & Morvich Kintail guide
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
National Trust for Scotland
The National Trust for Scotland for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty known as the National Trust for Scotland is a Scottish conservation organisation. It is the largest membership organisation in Scotland and describes itself as "the conservation charity that protects and promotes Scotland's natural and cultural heritage for present and future generations to enjoy"; the Trust owns and manages around 130 properties and 180,000 acres of land, including castles, ancient small dwellings, historic sites and remote rural areas. It is similar in function to the National Trust, which covers England and Northern Ireland, to other national trusts worldwide; the Trust was established in 1931 and had 450 employees, over 310,000 members, 1.5 million recorded visitors. The Trust's Patron is Prince Duke of Rothesay, it is a registered charity under Scottish law. The charity owned properties rather than "wilderness" areas; when the Trust took on the management of rural estates there was controversy concerning issues such as the siting of visitor centres and placing of signposts.
However, the Trust has learned to adopt a more sensitive approach to the extent of removing some intrusive facilities such as the original Glen Coe Visitor Centre. In August 2010, a report called Fit For Purpose by George Reid, commissioned by the Trust, cited shortcomings that were corrected though organizational restructuring completed by the end of its 2011/12 Fiscal Year; the stabilisation of the Trust's finances allowed it to make its first acquisition in seven years when it bought the Alloa Tower in Clackmannanshire in 2015. For the year ended 28 February 2015, the Trust's total income was £47 million, down from £49 million in 2013–14; the largest sources of income were membership subscriptions, commercial activities and investment income. In the same year the Trust's total expenditure was £49 million, the majority of, spent on property operating and conservation expenditures; as part of its current five-year strategy, the Trust is working to generate additional income and improve operational efficiency with the aim of eliminating its operating deficit by the end of the 2016/17 financial year.
Annual membership of the Trust allows free entry to properties and "Discovery Tickets" are available for shorter term visitors. Membership provides free entry to National Trust properties in England and Wales and Northern Ireland, vice versa; the Trust has independent sister organisations in the United States, Canada. The organisation's membership magazine, Scotland in Trust, is published three times a year. For the maintenance of its nature properties, the Trust depends on the contributions of volunteers, with local circles of Conservation Volunteers working on projects during weekends; the charity organises working holidays called "Thistle Camps" on various properties, with activities undertaken including footpath maintenance and woodland work such as rhododendron control. The Trust manages 129 heritage properties consisting of 1,500 individual buildings, 270 of which are listed. Most grounds and open spaces are open throughout the year but buildings may only be visited from Easter to October, sometimes only in the afternoons.
The Trust is Scotland's largest garden owner with just under 70 gardens that cover 238 hectares and contain 13,500 varieties of plant. These gardens include 35 "major gardens" with the remainder forming part of other properties; the gardens represent the full history of Scottish gardening ranging from the late medieval at Culross Palace, through the 18th-century picturesque at Culzean Castle and Victorian formality at the House of Dun to 20th-century plant collections at Brodick and Inverewe. The Trust is the third largest land manager in Scotland, owning 76,000 hectares of Scottish countryside including 46 Munros, more than 400 islands and islets and significant stretches of coastline. Trust countryside properties include Glen Coe and Mar Lodge Estate; the Trust's management of its coastal and countryside sites is guided by its Wild Land Policy which aims to preserve the land in its undeveloped state and provide access and enjoyment to the public. Trust sites are home to a diverse variety of native wildlife.
The Trust estimate that 25% of Scotland's seabirds nest on its island and coastal sites, equivalent to 8% of seabirds in Europe. The Trust's countryside properties are home to native mammal species including red deer, pine marten and red squirrel. Since 1957, the Trust have owned and managed the archipelago of St Kilda, Scotland's first World Heritage Site and the only World Heritage Site in the UK to be listed for both its natural and cultural significance. St Kilda and the surrounding sea stacks are home to over one million seabirds as well as three species unique to the islands. Across its properties the Trust is responsible for the conservation and display of hundreds of thousands of objects from paintings to furniture and domestic tools; the primary aim of the Trust's curatorship is to present collections and works of art in the historic settings for which they were commissioned or acquired. In the year 2014–15 the Trust welcomed 2,480,000 visitors to its properties, an increase of 93,000 on the previous year's total of 2,387,000.
The 10 most visited properties are: List of National Trust for Scotland properties Historic Scotland Bremner, Douglas. For the Benefit of the Nation. McGraw-Hill Contemporary. 2001. ISBN 97
A waterfall is an area where water flows over a vertical drop or a series of steep drops in the course of a stream or river. Waterfalls occur where meltwater drops over the edge of a tabular iceberg or ice shelf. Waterfalls are formed in the upper course of a river in steep mountains; because of their landscape position, many waterfalls occur over bedrock fed by little contributing area, so may be ephemeral and flow only during rainstorms or significant snowmelt. The further downstream, the more perennial a waterfall can be. Waterfalls can have a wide range of depths; when the river courses over resistant bedrock, erosion happens and is dominated by impacts of water-borne sediment on the rock, while downstream the erosion occurs more rapidly. As the watercourse increases its velocity at the edge of the waterfall, it may pluck material from the riverbed, if the bed is fractured or otherwise more erodible. Hydraulic jets and hydraulic jumps at the toe of a falls can generate large forces to erode the bed when forces are amplified by water-borne sediment.
Horseshoe-shaped falls focus the erosion to a central point enhancing riverbed change below a waterfalls. A process known as "potholing" involves local erosion of a deep hole in bedrock due to turbulent whirlpools spinning stones around on the bed, drilling it out. Sand and stones carried by the watercourse therefore increase erosion capacity; this causes the waterfall to recede upstream. Over time, the waterfall will recede back to form a canyon or gorge downstream as it recedes upstream, it will carve deeper into the ridge above it; the rate of retreat for a waterfall can be as high as one-and-a-half metres per year. The rock stratum just below the more resistant shelf will be of a softer type, meaning that undercutting due to splashback will occur here to form a shallow cave-like formation known as a rock shelter under and behind the waterfall; the outcropping, more resistant cap rock will collapse under pressure to add blocks of rock to the base of the waterfall. These blocks of rock are broken down into smaller boulders by attrition as they collide with each other, they erode the base of the waterfall by abrasion, creating a deep plunge pool in the gorge downstream.
Streams can become wider and shallower just above waterfalls due to flowing over the rock shelf, there is a deep area just below the waterfall because of the kinetic energy of the water hitting the bottom. However, a study of waterfalls systematics reported that waterfalls can be wider or narrower above or below a falls, so anything is possible given the right geological and hydrological setting. Waterfalls form in a rocky area due to erosion. After a long period of being formed, the water falling off the ledge will retreat, causing a horizontal pit parallel to the waterfall wall; as the pit grows deeper, the waterfall collapses to be replaced by a steeply sloping stretch of river bed. In addition to gradual processes such as erosion, earth movement caused by earthquakes or landslides or volcanoes can cause a differential in land heights which interfere with the natural course of a water flow, result in waterfalls. A river sometimes flows over a large step in the rocks. Waterfalls can occur along the edge of a glacial trough, where a stream or river flowing into a glacier continues to flow into a valley after the glacier has receded or melted.
The large waterfalls in Yosemite Valley are examples of this phenomenon, referred to as a hanging valley. Another reason hanging valleys may form is where two rivers join and one is flowing faster than the other. Waterfalls can be grouped into ten broad classes based on the average volume of water present on the fall using a logarithmic scale. Class 10 waterfalls include Paulo Afonso Falls and Khone Falls. Classes of other well-known waterfalls include Kaieteur Falls. Alexander von Humboldt "Father of Modern Geography" Humboldt was marking waterfalls on maps for river navigation purposes. Oscar von Engeln Published "Geomorphology: systematic and regional", this book had a whole chapter devoted to waterfalls, is one of the earliest examples of published works on waterfalls. R. W. Young Wrote "Waterfalls: form and process" this work made waterfalls a much more serious topic for research for modern Geoscientists. Ledge waterfall: Water descends vertically over a vertical cliff, maintaining partial contact with the bedrock.
Block/Sheet: Water descends from a wide stream or river. Classical: Ledge waterfalls where fall height is nearly equal to stream width, forming a vertical square shape. Curtain: Ledge waterfalls which descend over a height larger than the width of falling water stream. Plunge: Fast-moving water descends vertically, losing complete contact with the bedrock surface; the contact is lost due to horizontal velocity of the water before it falls. It always starts from a narrow stream. Punchbowl: Water descends in a constricted form and spreads out in a wider pool. Horsetail: Descending water maintains contact with bedrock most of the time. Slide: Water glides down maintaining continuous contact. Ribbon: Water descends over a long narrow strip. Chute: A large quantity of water forced through a narrow, vertical passage. Fan: Water spreads horizontally as