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Portal:England

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Royal Standard of England
Location of England within the United Kingdom.

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Paleolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century and has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century. The English language, the Anglican Church, and English law—the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world—developed in England, and the country's parliamentary system of government has been widely adopted by other nations. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation.

England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the north (for example, the Lake District and Pennines) and in the west (for example, Dartmoor and the Shropshire Hills). The capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom. England's population of 56.3 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom, largely concentrated around London, the South East, and conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, and Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century.

The Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland (through another Act of Union) to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. (Full article...)

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Malmsmead Hill, Exmoor - geograph.org.uk - 80944.jpg

Exmoor is loosely defined as an area of hilly open moorland in west Somerset and north Devon in South West England. It is named after the River Exe, the source of which is situated in the centre of the area, two miles north-west of Simonsbath. Exmoor is more precisely defined as the area of the former ancient royal hunting forest, also called Exmoor, which was officially surveyed 1815–1818 as 18,810 acres (7,610 ha) in extent. The moor has given its name to a National Park, which includes the Brendon Hills, the East Lyn Valley, the Vale of Porlock and 55 km (34 mi) of the Bristol Channel coast. The total area of the Exmoor National Park is 692.8 km2 (267.5 sq mi), of which 71% is in Somerset and 29% in Devon.

The upland area is underlain by sedimentary rocks dating from the Devonian and early Carboniferous periods with Triassic and Jurassic age rocks on lower slopes. Where these reach the coast, cliffs are formed which are cut with ravines and waterfalls. It was recognised as a heritage coast in 1991. The highest point on Exmoor is Dunkery Beacon; at 519 metres (1,703 ft) it is also the highest point in Somerset. The terrain supports lowland heath communities, ancient woodland and blanket mire which provide habitats for scarce flora and fauna. There have also been reports of the Beast of Exmoor, a cryptozoological cat roaming Exmoor. Several areas have been designated as Nature Conservation Review and Geological Conservation Review sites. (Full article...)
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Black-and-white photograph of Stephen Hawking at NASA's StarChild Learning Center
At NASA's StarChild Learning Center, c. 1980s

Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018) was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who, at the time of his death, was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. Between 1979 and 2009, he was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.

Hawking was born in Oxford, into a family of physicians. In October 1959, at the age of 17, he began his university education at University College, Oxford, where he received a first-class BA degree in physics. In October 1962, he began his graduate work at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where in March 1966, he obtained his PhD degree in applied mathematics and theoretical physics, specialising in general relativity and cosmology. In 1963, Hawking was diagnosed with an early-onset slow-progressing form of motor neurone disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – ALS, for short) that gradually, over the decades, paralysed him. After the loss of his speech, he communicated through a speech-generating device initially through use of a handheld switch, and eventually by using a single cheek muscle. (Full article...)
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Exposed limestone cliffs on either side of a road with cars on it.
Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge is a limestone gorge in the Mendip Hills, near the village of Cheddar, Somerset, England. The gorge is the site of the Cheddar show caves, where Britain's oldest complete human skeleton, Cheddar Man, estimated to be 9,000 years old, was found in 1903. Older remains from the Upper Late Palaeolithic era (12,000–13,000 years ago) have been found. The caves, produced by the activity of an underground river, contain stalactites and stalagmites. The gorge is part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest called Cheddar Complex.

Cheddar Gorge, including the caves and other attractions, has become a tourist destination. In a 2005 poll of Radio Times readers, following its appearance on the television programme Seven Natural Wonders (2005), Cheddar Gorge was named as the second greatest natural wonder in Britain, surpassed only by Dan yr Ogof caves.

The gorge attracts about 500,000 visitors per year. (Full article...)
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The tower of St. Paul's Church, in Brighton

In the news

In the news


12 August 2022 – 2022 United Kingdom heat wave
The Environment Agency of England declares a drought across eight of its fourteen areas amid an ongoing heat wave. (The Guardian)
4 August 2022 – 2021–2022 inflation surge
The Bank of England raises its benchmark interest rate from 1.25% to 1.75% in its largest single rate hike since 1995. (Reuters)
31 July 2022 – UEFA Women's Euro 2022 Final
England defeats Germany 2–1 in the final of the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 to give the England women's team its first major football championship. (BBC Sport)
28 July 2022 – Sentencing of Ben Oliver
Cameras are allowed to film a criminal court case in England and Wales for the first time in history as a man, Ben Oliver, is sentenced to prison at London's Old Bailey for manslaughter on live television. (Reuters)
26 July 2022 –
The Met Office confirms that England is experiencing its worst drought since 1976, particularly in South East England. (BBC News)
19 July 2022 – 2022 European heat waves
A major incident is declared in London following a "huge surge" in fires, according to the London Fire Brigade. Several homes are destroyed in Wennington on the outskirts of East London. No casualties have been reported. Hertfordshire and Leicestershire fire services also declare major incidents due to the high volume of emergency calls. (Sky News)

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