The Southern Upland of Scotland

This British highland lies south of Edinburgh and Glasgow and includes the Cheviot Hills on the English border. Here the highlands are lower and less rugged than farther north, and are penetrated more deeply by broad habitable valleys. Nevertheless, the dweller in lower latitudes is amazed at the promptness with which cultivated fields and trees give place to grass and heather as soon as one climbs a thousand feet or so above sealevel. Not only are these highlands, and all the others, too cool for crops, but they are so moist that large sections take the form of swampy moors where it is difficult to travel because of frequent soft bogs. Nevertheless, this treeless Southern Upland with its grass and heather is so well fitted for sheep that in much of it there is more than one sheep per acre of land. Almost nowhere else in the whole world is the sheep population so dense as in the Southern Upland of Scotland and the Cheviot Hills. In fact Scotland as a whole has three sheep for every two of its five million people.

The Lake District

One of the older British highlands lies in the northwestern corner of England and has been made famous by Wordsworth and other poets. It is merely a little circle of bare rounded mountains covered with moor and heather, but rises so sharply from pleasantly tilled lowlands that the contrasts are impressive. Moreover, the local glaciers which here, as elsewhere, re-enforced the main icesheet, have carved a wonderful series of long, narrow, steepsided lakes, including Windemere. They resemble those of the main Scotch Highland, but lie like a star with their upper ends pointed nearly toward the famous peaks of Helvellyn and Scafell.

No comments: