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16 October 2014

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Coasts Mountains, Lakes & Rivers Settlement Land Use & Economic Activity Ecosystems
Rural Land Use Urban Land Use Primary Industry Secondary Industry Tertiary Industry Changing Economic Activity
Rural Landuse clipWatch Video Map

Script

Key Points

Land use is the function the land is used for. Land in rural areas is often used for farming or forestry. This is Clarkestown, a hamlet that is typical of rural areas in Northern Ireland where the land use is mainly agricultural. There are many isolated houses and farms with a small area of trees. These give shelter from the weather and are called shelter belts.

In rural areas like this the predominant impression is of green fields. You can see here that there are only a few roads and no large scale housing developments or industrial areas.

Grass grows very well in our mild wet climate. The different shades of green are different types of grass or grass of different ages. The brown patches are grass which has been cut for silage.

Most of the land is used for growing grass to support animals such as sheep, and beef and dairy cattle. Grass is a very important crop in Northern Ireland -three quarters of all the land in Northern Ireland is used for grazing. During winter the animals are fed on silage, which is grass cut and stored wet during the summer months.

Money from cattle and sheep products like milk, beef, lamb and wool make up over three quarters of more than £2 billion earned in farming. Despite this less than 2% of the working population are employed in farming because much of the work is done by machines.

Some farming methods can damage the environment. Fertilizers used in fields can run off into streams and cause pollution.

Larger fields are easier for machines to use, so hedge and fence field boundaries have been removed to increase field sizes. Hedgerows are important habitats for many native plants and animals. Farmers are now encouraged to keep the old boundaries in order to protect local wildlife.

Land use is the function the land is used for. Land in rural areas is often used for farming or forestry.

In rural areas most of the land is used for growing grass to support animals such as sheep, and beef and dairy cattle.

Some farming methods can damage the environment. Fertilizers can cause pollution and the removal of hedges destroys wildlife habitats.



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