Only 1.2% of the workforce is employed in agriculture and fishing; This sector (including forestry) only accounts for 0.6% of GDP (2014). British agriculture is highly productive due to its high level of performance and good technical equipment.
In Great Britain and Northern Ireland (2013) 71.3% of the land area is used for agriculture, 26.1% of the land area is used for arable farming or permanent crops. Pasture areas are mainly found in the mountainous areas of the west and north. Farms with predominantly arable farming are mainly in the east and central south of England and on the east side of Scotland; The main crops are wheat, barley, oilseed rape, sugar beet and potatoes. Fruit and vegetable growing are mostly found in Kent, East Anglia and the western Midlands. Three fifths of the full-time farms deal with dairy farming and livestock farming (cattle and sheep). Sheep farming has grown in importance while cattle numbers have declined. When it comes to sheep meat, the UK and Northern Ireland have gone from being an importer to an exporter. BSE crisis, the European Commission issued a ban on the export of cattle and beef from Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1996-99. In 2001, the foot-and-mouth disease that appeared again led to serious setbacks in the livestock industry.
Forestry: 12.9% of the country’s area (around 3.1 million hectares) was forested in 2013; Scotland and England have the largest areas of forest, while Wales and especially Northern Ireland are relatively sparsely forested. In 2013, 10.8 million m 3 ofwood were felled, of which 3.57 million m 3 were sawn.
Fisheries: Great Britain and Northern Ireland is one of the most important fishing nations in the EU. The fishery is mainly concentrated on the south-west and east coasts between the Humber and Moray Firth and in north-west and north Scotland, including the Shetland Islands. The British fishing fleet (7,600 registered boats) landed 631,400 tonnes of fish in 2012; in addition, 203,000 t were obtained in fish farms (mainly salmon). The main fishing ports are Newlyn, Brixham, Plymouth, Grimsby and Kingston upon Hull in England and Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Scrabster, Lerwick, Aberdeen, Lochinver and Mallaig in Scotland.
In the course of the structural changes in the economy over the past few decades, the service sector in particular has grown considerably. Around 79% of all employed persons in Great Britain and Northern Ireland work in this sector, which (2014) generated 79.6% of GDP. A significant part of the job growth is among other things. attributable to part-time workers. The high service quota is primarily due to an increase in the workforce in the areas of public administration, education, health and social affairs. The traditionally important financial sector, on the other hand, recorded a decline in jobs due to strong rationalization in the sector. Along with New York and Tokyo, London is one of the three most important international financial centers in the world. Despite the rise of Asian financial centers, it still holds the leading position in international capital movements. This is also documented in the extraordinary concentration of over 500 foreign banks in London. The UK and Northern Ireland is also one of the largest international insurance markets.
Tourism: Almost 2 million people work in the tourism industry. This corresponds to a share of 6.4% of the total number of employees. The economic importance of tourism has increased significantly in recent years: The number of foreign guests increased from 25.7 million in 1998 to 32.9 million (+28%) in 2013. Spending by foreign guests rose to £ 21.0 billion over the same period. Most of the foreign guests come from France (2012: 3.8 million), the Republic of Ireland (2.5 million), the USA (2.8 million) and Germany (3.0 million). By far the most visited place is London, followed by South and South East England. Visit clothesbliss.com for United Kingdom travel guide.
Great Britain and Northern Ireland have large reserves of hard coal, oil and natural gas. The mining of the not very rich copper, tin (in Cornwall) and iron ore has now been stopped. The coal reserves are estimated at 228 billion t (including rich deposits under the North Sea); 45 billion t are considered to be exploitable. However, mining them is no longer profitable in most areas due to the low world market prices and high development costs. Coal mining, which has been part of the nationalized British Coal Corporation since 1947, was privatized in 1994. The privatization was preceded by another large wave of mine closures, which particularly affected the areas in the eastern Midlands and West Yorkshire. Since 1960, in the course of several waves of decommissioning, coal production has increased from 194.5 million t to (1980) 110.3 million. t dropped dramatically to 5.3 million t in 2015. A major cause of the recent decline in coal mining was the sharp decline in coal purchases by energy companies.
Crude oil has been produced in the North Sea since 1975. Exports began in 1976, and from 1980–2009 British oil demand could be covered by its own production. The secured reserves amount to (2015) 400 million t. Natural gas has been produced since 1967. Here, too, Great Britain and Northern Ireland are self-sufficient (secured reserves 200 billion m 3). Submarine gas pipelines lead to terminals at Bacton, Theddlethorpe, Easington and Saint Fergus on the east coast; Oil pipeline to Teesport, Curden Bay and Inergordon as well as Flotta in the Orkney Islands and Sullom Voe in the Shetland Islands. In terms of gas production, Great Britain and Northern Ireland belong to (2015) 39.7 billion m 3to the most important gas producers in Europe. Around a third of gas production is used to generate energy.