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GCU 114 The Connection between Biodiversity and Cultural Diversity

(Schwartz, 1999)

From the beginning England has been known as being a land with vast natural resources, namely copper, tin, coal, and iron. It was conquered by numerous groups of people to gain control of those vast resources. The Celts used Englands tin and iron-ore; the Romans extended their empire to include England because of its resources, and then came the Saxons, Angles, and Vikings. Each of these conquering groups brought with them a different way of life and a culture unique to them. Through the ages, Englands diversity has grown as more people have immigrated to this island nation, set up their own communities and created their own cultural identities. Today, England is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. In London there is an especially ethnically diverse community of people made up of White British, Irish, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, South Asian, Caribbean, African, and Chinese with divided sections of the city forming their own communities based on their heritage and culture.

(Lot, 2010)

(Idrees, 2012)

England is made up of many different habitats, or ecosystems. Two-thirds of the country is arable, horticultural, or improved grasslands. These areas are used for farming and food production. The remaining onethird of the country contains the most biodiversity. There are the wetlands, such as The Broads of East Anglia and the Meres and Mosses of Shropshire, and woodlands. Limestone pavements exist in Cumbria and North Yorkshire. The uplands consist of the mountainous Lake District, moorlands, and blanket bogs. The English coast is rich in wildlife and includes intertidal flats and saltmarshes, which provide habitat for wading birds. The famous white chalk cliffs of south-east England and the hard rock cliffs of Devon and Cornwall support grassland and heathland on their upper slopes. There are also many seabed types as well as warm and cold waters which give Englands surrounding seas a diverse range of marine wildlife.

(E.T., 2011)

(Derbyshire, 2010)

Endangered Red Squirrel (Alamy, 2010)

Unfortunately, much of Englands biodiversity has been declining due to intensive farming, development, and commercial forestry. This has resulted in habitats that now only support a very limited biodiversity. In the ocean surrounding England fishing has had a negative impact on marine and shore land habitats and species. According to a report by Natural England almost 500 species of animals and plants have become extinct in England since 1800 as a result of human activity. This decline is detrimental not only to the ecosystems but to the people as well. Englands economy depends heavily on tourism of these beautiful places. Also, the emotional and spiritual connection of the land to its people may be lost if biodiversity continues to decline.

SOURCES 1. Schwartz, R. (1999). Railways and population change in industrializing England. Informally published
manuscript, Department of History, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA, Retrieved from\

2. Natural England. (n.d.). England's biodiversity. Retrieved from 3. Heritage Learning. (n.d.). Global citizens - Make an impact!. Retrieved from 4. Lot, I. (Photographer). (2010). London bridge and the cultural diversity. [Web Photo]. Retrieved from 5. Idrees, K. (Photographer). (2012). Bohemian rhapsody of a union jack. [Web Photo]. Retrieved from Services/Pages/Arts-Development.aspx 6. T, E. (Photographer). (2011). Dawn on the Jurassic Coast, Dorset . [Web Photo]. Retrieved from 7. Derbyshire, D. (2010, May 22). Dozens of British species vanishing 'at an alarming rate' despite attempts to save them. Retrieved from