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Devon is a county in South West England. The counties of Cornwall and Somerset form its western border, while Dorset forms its northern and eastern ones. East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge, and West Devon make up Devon County, together with the county town of Exeter. Plymouth and Torbay, two other major urban centers, are both located within Devon but are independently governed. Its combined ceremonial county area is 6,707 km2 (2,590 sq mi), and its population is close to 1.2 million.
The name of the county of Devon comes from the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia (the shift from m to v is a typical Celtic consonant shift). The Dumnonii Brittonic Celts called this area home during the British Iron Age, Roman Britain, and the early Middle Ages. When the Angles and Saxons arrived in Britain, Dumnonia was gradually absorbed into the Kingdom of Wessex in the eighth and ninth century. In 936, King thelstan established the River Tamar as the western border between Cornwall and his realm. At a later date, the county of Devon was officially recognized by the English crown and organized as a shire.
Both the northern and southern coasts of Devon boast cliffs and sandy beaches, and the bays of the county are home to seaside resorts, fishing villages, and ports. The interior of England is rural, hilly, and less densely populated than the coastal regions. Dartmoor is 954 km2 (368 sq mi) in size, making it the largest open space in southern England, its moorland covers a vast area of granite. North of Dartmoor are the Culm Measures and Exmoor. The Exe, Culm, Teign, Dart, and Otter are just few of the rivers that help keep the valleys and lowlands of south and east Devon irrigated and healthy.
The agricultural sector of the Devon economy is important, but tourism also plays a significant role. Devon is a popular place for English vacationers because of its temperate climate, beautiful coastline, and varied scenery. The Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks, the resort towns of the south coast (together known as the English Riviera), the Jurassic Coast, the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in North Devon, and the rural areas of Cornwall and West Devon all draw significant numbers of tourists each year.
Several dishes have the county's name because of its prominence in cooking. It is generally agreed that Devon is the birthplace of the cream tea, which consists of scones, jam, and clotted cream (though other counties have also staked claim to this honor). Some argue that Plymouth, England, in 1509 is when the pasty was originally documented, rather than Cornwall.
The North Atlantic Drift largely determines Devon's cool oceanic environment. While there are exceptions, it is rare for it to snow in the winter far from higher ground. The county experiences rather cold, rainy summers with occasional heated bursts. The average high temperature in January is only 8 degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit), making the county's winters among the mildest in the world despite its high latitude. In certain parts of Dartmoor, annual precipitation exceeds 2,000 millimeters (79 inches), while in the rain shadow of the coast in southeastern Devon and around Exeter, annual precipitation averages only about 750 millimeters (30 inches). The amount of sunshine varies greatly as well; whereas the moors are typically overcast, the southeast coast between Salcombe and Exmouth is among the sunniest regions of the United Kingdom (a generally cloudy region). The area around Torbay and Teignmouth is sheltered by high ground, so when west or south-westerly winds and high pressure hit, the weather is usually pleasant and bright for extended periods (Foehn wind).
In 2019, Devon's economy produced more than £26 billion, making it bigger than either Manchester or Edinburgh.
Historically, much like its western neighbor Cornwall, Devon has lagged behind other parts of Southern England economically due to the demise of a number of primary sectors, most notably fishing, mining, and farming, although the region's economy is now much more diversified. Since the 19th century, agriculture has been one of Devon's primary industries. When the foot-and-mouth disease epidemic hit the United Kingdom in 2001, it was a devastating blow to the farming community. Since then, however, there have been signs of diversification and recovery in the agricultural sector, particularly in the form of a robust local food sector and a proliferation of artisan producers. Even Nevertheless, low wholesale milk prices supplied by larger dairies and notably huge retail chains continued to be a problem for the dairy industry in 2015.
Attractive regional amenities are luring businesses that are less dependent on location than in the past. There has been a considerable uptick in the number of people living in Dartmoor who work in computer technology and finance. In 2003, Exeter became home to the Met Office, the United Kingdom's and the world's official weather agency. The Range, the only major national retail brand with headquarters in Devon, opened its first store in Plymouth, where it also maintains its corporate headquarters.
Tourism has been vital to Devon's economy ever since the development of seaside resorts in the 19th century. Since the middle of the twentieth century, the county's economy has followed the same pattern as that of British beach resorts, but recent years have seen a revitalization and regeneration of its resorts, especially those associated with camping, surfing, cycling, sailing, and heritage. Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks, as well as the Jurassic Coast and the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape, have played an important role in this renaissance. Spending by tourists in the county was around $2.5 billion in 2019. Food and drink, including restaurants with sea views in North West Devon (like the one owned by Damien Hurst), hiking the South West Coast Path, cycling the Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route and other cycle routes like the Tarka Trail and the Stover Trail, water sports, surfing, indoor and outdoor folk music festivals all over the county, and sailing in the 5-mile (8.0 km) inlet surrounded by hills are among the most popular tourist draws.
There is a wide range of incomes, although the average is boosted by the large number of wealthy retirees. Although the South Hams and the communities around Exeter and Plymouth have median or above-median incomes, there are still pockets of extreme poverty where wages are among the lowest in the country.
Population shifts between the 2001 and 2011 censuses are also broken down by census tract in the table below. As of August 2012, the most recent month for which data is available, the national average percentage of residents relying on lowest income and/or joblessness benefits was 4.5%. East Devon is the most populous area of Devon, but only if Torbay and Plymouth are disregarded. Torbay has a little more people, and Plymouth has around twice as many. The population was lowest in West Devon with 63,839 in the 2011 census.
England, UK Description
England is the UK's largest constituent unit, occupying more than half of the island. Despite its political, economic, and cultural legacy, England is no longer a governmental or political unit.
With its rich soil and crisscrossing network of rivers and streams, England has been and remains a thriving agricultural economy. England became the epicenter of the global Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s, quickly rising to the top of the global industrialization rankings. Manufacturing industries in Manchester, Birmingham, and Liverpool turned raw materials into finished goods for export. London, the country's capital, became one of the world's most important cities, a hub for a global political economy. The London metropolitan area continues to be Europe's financial center and a hotbed of innovation, particularly in the fields of popular culture.
One of the most fundamental features of the English language is its diversity within a limited compass. Even England's most remote regions are accessible by car or train within a day's drive or train ride of London. Many English people identify with the regions or shires from which they are descended—for example, Yorkshire, the West Country, or the Midlands—and maintain strong ties to those regions even if they live in other parts of the country. Some differences exist, but many more, especially as England transitioned from a rural to an urban society, began to fade after 1945. The country's island location has shaped the English character, which values social harmony, social harmony, and good manners that ensure orderly relations in a densely populated landscape, among other characteristics.
During the dismantling of Britain's vast overseas empire in the mid-20th century, England suffered an identity crisis, and much attention has been paid to discussions of "Englishness"—that is, what it means to be English in a country that now has large immigrant populations from many former colonies and is far more cosmopolitan than insular. Although influenced by other cultures, English culture is distinct and difficult to define. The Lion and the Unicorn by George Orwell, a self-described "revolutionary patriot" who chronicled politics and society in the 1930s and 1940s, makes this observation.
Geographical Description of England
Except for Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire in the east, England's topography is low-lying but rarely flat. The area has many rolling hillsides, with the highest elevations in the north, north-west, and southwest. Intricate underlying structures have resulted in intricate patterns in the landscape. The oldest sedimentary rocks and some igneous rocks (found in isolated granite hills) are found in Cornwall and Devon, while the most recent alluvial soils are found in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, and Norfolk. Both the sandstone and limestone bands that separate these two regions date from prehistoric times when large sections of central and southern England were submerged under warm seas. Geological forces lifted and folded some of these rocks, forming northern England's spine. Scafell Pike, England's highest point, stands at 3,210 feet (978 metres) and is part of the world's highest mountain range. The northern mountains are mostly slate, while the southern mountains are mostly lava flows. Mountain ranges have developed from the North Downs at 965 feet (294 meters) to the Cotswolds at 1,083 feet (330 meters).
The Chiltern Hills, North Yorkshire Moors, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Wolds, and Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Wolds were rounded into distinctive plateaus with west-facing escarpments during the Pleistocene Epoch (about 2,600,000 to 11,700 years ago). A land bridge connecting Britain to the rest of Europe was engulfed as the last glacial sheet melted. The retreating glaciers left behind gravel, sand, and glacial mud, further altering the land surface. Rain, rivers, and tides, as well as subsidence, have shaped the hills and coastline of eastern England. Limestone, gritstone, and carboniferous strata plateaus are associated with major coalfields, some visible as surface outcrops.
A great example of England's geologic complexity is its cliff structure. The chalk cliffs of Dover are made up of a series of sedimentary rocks of varying ages that start at Land's End in the far southwest and end at the Isle of Wight. The English coastline is dotted with cliffs, bays, and river estuaries that add to the overall beauty of the landscape.
England's weather is as varied as its topography. The average temperature in England, like other temperate maritime zones, is moderate, ranging from around 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) in January to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) in July in the Thames river valley (32 degrees Celsius). Tacitus, the Roman historian, described it as "unpleasant" with "frequent rains and mists but no extreme cold." However, the higher elevations of England receive snow for roughly 50 days out of the year. In fact, the northwest and southwest of England are particularly "wet". These areas receive less than 30 inches (750 mm) of rain per year and are frequently subject to severe drought. Rainfall averages only 20 inches in parts of the southeast (500 mm). The weather has influenced English art and literature not only seasonally but also day-to-day and even hour-to-hour. The bumbershoot's moniker as the stereotypical English gentleman's walking stick is not accidental.
The Economy of England
In the 18th and 19th centuries, England's economy was primarily agricultural until the Industrial Revolution transformed it into a highly urbanized and industrialized region as a result of the Industrial Revolution. A result of the close proximity of coal and iron ore deposits, heavy industries (iron and steel, textiles, and shipbuilding) sprang up in the north-eastern counties, and they continue to thrive today. During the 1930s, the Great Depression and foreign competition both contributed to a decline in manufactured goods production and an increase in unemployment in the industrial north, which contributed to the Great Depression. Residents of these northern counties who were out of work were forced to relocate south to London and its environs. Because of urbanization and industrialization, the southeast has become dominated by industries such as automotive, chemical, electrical, and machine tool manufacturing. Despite the fact that population growth and urbanization significantly reduced farmland in England during the twentieth century, the geographical counties of Cornwall, Devon, Kent, Lincolnshire, Somerset, and North Yorkshire have retained a significant proportion of their agricultural land.
Another period of industrial decline occurred in the late twentieth century, during which coal mining was virtually phased out and job losses in industries such as iron and steel production, shipbuilding, and textile manufacturing were particularly severe. The decline of these industries had a disproportionately negative impact on the economies of the north and the Midlands, while the economies of the south remained relatively prosperous. By the turn of the twenty-first century, the service sector had taken over as the dominant sector of the English economy, with banking and other financial services, retail, distribution, media and entertainment, education, health care, and hotels and restaurants among the leading sectors.