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Primary activities in the Greater Dublin Area

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Primary Economic Activities in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA region) which is an example of a core socio-economic region.
This is a region that can be studied at both higher and ordinary level leaving certificate. It is often contrasted with the Border Midlands and West (BMW) region.

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Primary activities in the Greater Dublin Area

  1. 1. Primary Activities in The Greater Dublin Area (GDA) A core socio-economic region in Ireland Counties: Dublin Meath Kildare Wicklow
  2. 2. Primary Activities in the GDA 1. Agriculture • Over 19,000 farmers in the GDA compared with 123,000 farmers in the BMW. • However, the quality of soil and favourable climate in the GDA mean farmers make a better living from land in GDA than those in BMW. • Farms in the GDA are large, intensive commercial farms with an above average size of 42.3 hectares. • Approx 3% of the population in the GDA is employed in agriculture.
  3. 3. Physical Factors influencing development of FARMING in GDA1. Climate • The climate is cool temperate oceanic but it is warmer and drier than the west of Ireland. Frost is rare due to the influence of the Irish Sea. • This climate type allows a long growing season for grass making specialist beef farming the most common activity in the region (over 3,800 beef cattle farms in the region). Beef cattle are mainly produced on the boulder clay soils of Co. Meath. Many farmers get young cattle from BMW region, fatten them and sell them to beef processors.
  4. 4. Physical Factors influencing development of FARMING in GDA2. Soils • There is a variety of fertile soils in the GDA. • In Co. Meath fertile boulder clay soils are used for arable farming (growing crops) while brown earth soils are good for cattle farming. • In North County Dublin at Rush and Lusk, light sandy soils are used for market gardening (or horticulture). The soil heats up quickly in spring and is easily worked. Salad vegetables are grown in greenhouses while cabbage, onions and potatoes are grown in large fields.
  5. 5. Physical Factors influencing development of FARMING in GDA 2. Soils (continued) • In Kildare the sands and boulder clay deposited by glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age are well drained and support good quality grassland. Cattle are fattened here for the beef industry. • Kildare is also the centre of the bloodstock industry and produces racehorses for export. The well drained glacial sand and gravel soils are world famous for breeding, rearing and training horses, e.g. the Curragh.
  6. 6. Physical Factors influencing development of FARMING in GDA3. Relief • The land is low lying and gently rolling (undulating) which allows intensive mechanised agriculture in Meath and Kildare. • In Wicklow, where land is mountainous, forestry is more common than farming. The Wicklow Mountains rise to over 1,000 metres. The steep slopes and high altitude are a disadvantage for arable farming. However, the mild climate encourages tree growth so farmers have turned to forestry to make best use of their land.
  7. 7. Human Factors influencing development of FARMING in GDA 1. Market • The GDA has over one million people. Farmers benefit from the large urban markets of Dublin, Drogheda, Arklow and Navan. This large market has encouraged the development of commercial farming in the GDA. Farmers in the GDA can sell their produce directly to consumers at Farmers Markets throughout the region. They also have quick access to the wealthy urban population who shop in the many supermarkets who demand fresh produce. These industries buy farm produce in large quantities.
  8. 8. Human Factors influencing development of FARMING in GDA 2. Transport • Transport infrastructure is well developed in the GDA region, e.g. the M50, Port Tunnel. As a result, transport times from farm to market are short . The good transport links, low costs and short distances ensure fragile perishable fruit and vegetables arrive from the greenhouses to the markets quickly and in good condition. Farmers, therefore, have lower costs than farmers in the BMW region. Farm incomes in the GDA are generally 40% higher than the national average.
  9. 9. Exam Question PLANNING ESSENTIAL before writing answer Higher Level 2011 Q4 B Contrast the development of agriculture in two Irish regions that you have studied. (30 marks) Ordinary Level 2010 Q4 B Explain how any two of the following influence the development of agriculture in an Irish region you have studied: • Relief and soils • Climate • EU Policies • Markets Clearly state the name of the region in your answer. (40 marks)
  10. 10. HL 2011 Q4 B - Planning • 15 SRPs required in total. Approx 1 refill pad page. • The word contrast is in the question – so you must show differences. – Open by clearly stating the two Irish regions you are contrasting: BMW and GDA. – Deal with agriculture in each region separately • Could contrast climate, relief and human factors.
  11. 11. OL 2010 Q4 B - Planning • 15 SRPs required in total. Approx ¾ - 1 refill pad page. • Structure 1. Opening par – introduce the region (GDA) and outline the two factors you will focus on. 2. Paragraph dealing with 1st chosen factor. 3. Paragraph dealing with 2nd chosen factor. 4. Closing paragraph.
  12. 12. Forestry • The area under forestry in Dublin, Meath and Kildare is much lower than in Wicklow. This is because the lowland counties have more fertile soils and the land is used for commercial agriculture. • The Wicklow Mountains have thin acidic soils, wetter climate and steeper ground. Therefore forestry is a more productive use of the land than farming.
  13. 13. Fishing • The fishing industry of the GDA is based at Howth. The value of fish landed at Howth ranks in 3rd place nationally after Killybegs and Dunmore East. Dublin city is also ranked 3rd in the number of people employed in fish processing after Killybegs and Cork.
  14. 14. Mineral Resources • Ireland has 3 underground lead and zinc mines in production. The largest of these is in the GDA region – Tara Mine at Navan, Co. Meath. This is the largest lead and zinc mine in Europe and employs over 600 people.

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