GDR -The GDR consists of the counties of Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow: It is a distinctive region due to the: Cool temperate Climate. Dominance of the route focus in Ireland (Roads) which leads to the dominance of Industry located in this region. Generally low-lying relief of the area (Farming). Fertile soils. Lack of rainfall. But, above all, it is a core economic region It has a relatively high living standard compared to the people living in the BMW (Border, Midlands, West).
Characteristics of Core Regions Core regions are the wealthiest areas and have the highest economic growth. They are also called central and overdeveloped regions Core regions usually have: Very good infrastructure e.g. good transport systems. Good physical conditions (relief, climates, soil). High living standards. Low unemployment. High employment in tertiary activities (Services). Highly developed tertiary sector. All land is used so land prices are high. Lack of emigration, especially young skilled people.
Continued: The GDA region has over 1 million people living within it. It accounts for up to a fifth of Irelands total population. Billions of euro have been spent on the region through National and EU funding. The region many attractions: High employment. High quality of living. High incomes. Good recreational services. Many third class educational institutions.
Climate The region has a warm temperate climate with: Is drier than the BMW due to relief rain shadow effect of the western mountains. Annual rainfall 750 mm which is 100 mm less than the BMW. Average summer temperatures are similar to the BMW region with January averaging 5 degrees celsius and July 15 degrees celsius.
Relief Continued Region is low-lying and undulating in the north and west. Perfect for commercial agriculture Kildare and Meath are low lying with no major uplands. The steep ground of the Dublin Mountains form a barrier to the development of roads and houses.
Drainage Dublin coastline is varied with several headlands of Metamorphic rock( Howth Head) and Limestone bays (Dublin bay). Several rivers cross the area e.g. the Liffey, Boyne and Vartry.
Soils Unlike the BMW where there are a variety of infertile soils, the GDA is mainly covered by brown fertile soils. Glacial deposition forms much of the bolder clay coastline. Infertile blanket peat soil is found on the uplands of the Wicklow mountains. In North County Dublin, marine deposition has added salt to the brown soils making them suitable for intensive horticulture.
Primary Economic Activities These include 1. Agriculture 2. Forestry 3. Fishing 4. Mineral resources
1:Agriculture There are over 19,000 farmers in the GDA, which is less than the 123,00o in the BMW. The quality of the soil is very good as well as the climate. Farmers in the GDA make a better living than those in the BMW. Farms in the GDA are large intensive commercial farms with an above average size of about 42.3 hectares. BMW average size is 26.7 hectares. 3 % of the population is employed in farming in the GDA.
Argiculture continued A number of physical and human factors influence the development of farming in the GDA. Physical Factors include: Climate and Relief There is a variety of intensive commercial agriculture in the GDA. Arable farms growing wheat are large and profitable. This is due to the generally low-lying relief of the area which has enabled farmers to create large regular fields suitable for mechanised farming. The climate of the region is cool temperate but it is warmer and drier than the west of Ireland. Frost is rare due to the influence of the Irish Sea which is an advantage for crop growing. Relief has influenced the development of the forestry industry in the GDA. The region generally lacks forests except for County Wicklow. The Wicklow Mountains rise to over 1,000m. The steep slopes and high altitude are a disadvantage for arable farming. However, the mild climate encourages tree growth and so farmers have turned to forestry to make best use of their land. Trees mature earlier and can be harvested sooner than in the west of Ireland. Pastoral sheep farming is also carried out on upland farms.
Agriculture continued Human factors Human Factors include: Market and Transport The GDA has over one million people. Dublin city is the largest market in the country. This has encouraged the development of commercial farming in the GDA. Farmers in the GDA can sell their produce directly to consumers at the many ‘Farmers Markets’ that occur throughout the region. They also have access to the wealthy urban population who shop in the many supermarkets and discount stores and who demand fresh produce. The GDA contains food-processing industries such as bread manufacturing, brewing and vegetable canning. These industries buy farm produce in large quantities.
2: Forestry Most forestry in the GDA takes place in Wicklow with 28’000 hectares. The Wicklow Mountains has very acidic soil type and a much wetter climate and well as a steeper aspect. Kildare, Dublin and Meath only have 1’583 hectares of forestry. They have much more fertile land used for intensive commercial farming.
3: Fishing GDA fishing industry is based in Howth County Dublin. Here the third highest commercial value of fish is caught in the country. Dublin City is also ranked third nationally in the amount of people employed in the fish processing industry after Killybegs (Donegal) and Dunmore East (Waterford). Dublin City Prawns (crustacean) account for 40% of the value of shellfish exports from Ireland. In the BMW region the type of fish landed is mainly demersal, e.g. plaice. Demersal fish live on or near the bottom of the sea or lakes. They occupy the sea floors and lake beds, which usually consist of mud, sand, gravel or rocks. In coastal waters they are found on or near the continental shelf.
4: Mineral resources In 1960 we discovered lead and zinc in Ireland. The largest of these is in the GDA region in Navan Co. Meath. This is the largest lead and zinc mine in Europe and employs over 600 people. The deposits of zinc in Ireland total over an estimated 14 million tonnes, which is 1.5% of the world’s supply found to date. Ireland is ranked first in the world in terms of zinc discovered per square Kilometre and second for lead per square kilometre.
Secondary Economic Activities Greater Dublin Area (GDA) region Industries include; Computer industry and the food processing industry. The GDA has many human factors that have encouraged industrial development. The GDA contains Dublin city, Ireland’s capital, which is the most economically important urban area in Ireland. It has a young population (50% under 25yrs) who provide a labour force for manufacturers. The population of the GDA is also wealthy as wages are 10% above the EU average and this provides a market for manufactured goods. The GDA has a well developed transport system (rail, motorway) which connects it to all parts of Ireland.
Secondary Continued Ireland’s main seaport and international airport are both in Dublin and these provide a gateway to Europe for manufacturers who import and export goods. For example, the silicon discs that are used by Intel in Leixlip are flown into Dublin for processing here. The GDA is a nationally important education centre. It has several universities and colleges of technology (UCD, DIT) and these provide an educated workforce for knowledge-based industries such as computer manufacturing and software development. Physical factors such as fertile soils and a frost-free climate have encouraged farming and led to the development of food processing. The GDA contains large areas of fertile farmland such as in North Co. Dublin. Farms in this area provide vegetables for the food-processing industry. Grain is produced in the southern and western GDA, e.g. North Kildare and East Meath. This grain is used in the food processing industry and brewing industry e.g. Jacob’s Biscuits and Guinness.
Tertiary Activities in the GDA: Greater Dublin Area (GDA) region Dublin dominates tertiary activities in the GDA. 20% of workforce in Dublin is employed in professional services (finance, legal work). Transport and communication-related work account for 10% of the workforce. Employment in public admin, e.g. Gardaí, accounts for a greater share of the workforce in Dublin city, since it is the admin capital of the country. Health services are another important part of the tertiary sector. Core regions like the GDA need a variety of healthcare facilities. Dublin has 6 public and 15 private hospitals.
Tertiary continued The majority of companies in the GDA operate within international services and financial services. e.g. Intel, Citibank. The Irish Financial Service Centre, IFSC, in Dublin city employs 6,000 people. Teleservices are also an important growth sector in the GDA. Hertz has its European call centre in Swords. Dublin is home to some of the country’s most respected educational institutes - Trinity College, DCU, UCD. The scale of the GDA’s tourism business is much greater than that of the BMW. In 2009, over 5.5million overseas tourists visited Dublin, generating €1.5billion.
Group Work: Tertiary Activities 1. Transport and Communications 2. Tourism 3. Other services 4. IT services in the GDA