Project Britain

The Northeast of England

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The Northeast

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham,


From the medieval times Northumberland mined iron core, lead and silver. This mining and the mining for coal has stopped. Northumberland's shipbuilding and glass-making have also declined. Now the county produces electrical machinery and pottery. There are manufacturing and engineering industries in parts of Durham and Tyne and Wear. Tyneside was once the country's chief producer of salt, which was extracted from the North Sea.

Important towns and cities

The largest urban areas are in the east. Sunderland is the biggest city; others include historic Berwick-upon-Tweed, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the cathedral city of Durham.

Important towns include Tynemouth, Gateshead and Stockton-on Tees.

Farming, fishing and forestry

Sheep farming is the main agricultural activity in this bleak and rugged region. The rivers Eden, Derwent, Tyne and Tweed are all important salmon fisheries. The Kielder forest, the largest forested area in England, is a major timber producer.

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