Wikishire:Geography in Britain and Ireland

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Geographical location

For places in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the traditional County should be used as the primary geographical reference. We do not take the view that the historic Counties have been abolished nor changed in any part of the British Isles. We do take the practical position, folowing the Historic Counties Standard, that detached parts of historic counties shall be considered to be associated with the historic county in which they locally lie (their 'host' county) and with their parent historic county, guided by the Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844.

For the identification and delineation of the counties, we use the Historic Counties Standard issued by the Historic Counties Trust.

A local authority area should not be used as a geographical reference unless strictly relevant to the subject, though such information may be used to give additional information about a settlement.

Therefore the following is acceptable:

Duns is a town in Berwickshire. [other text as required]

The following however is not acceptable:

Duns is in the Scottish Borders and until 1976 it was in the former county of Berwickshire.

On the other hand, where a place is most clearly located by reference to a city or urban area then that may be adopted in the lead, with reference to the county following, for example:

Harborne is a suburban village lying to the southwest of Birmingham and forming part of that city’s outgrowth, though it retains a distinct village centre and local identity. Harborne lies in Staffordshire.

Similarly, towns are to be preferred to civic areas, recognising though that the bounds of a town are often uncertain.

Duplication of names in administrative usage

Most British and Irish local authority names, parliamentary constituencies' names and so forth borrow their titles from real geographical names, although such governmental areas may differ substantially from the counties of areas from which they take their names. There ought rarely to be any need for duplication; an article on Leeds for example will primarily be about the city itself, but it can also address the wider local authority area of the "City of Leeds Metropolitan District" if required.

Specific local authority articles

An article should not have a local authority area as its specific subject: the area exists only for the purpose of the local authority and so the local authority should be the subject. However, contributors should consider that it will be rare for a local authority on its own to be of sufficient interest to merit a distinctive article.

An exception to the general rule may be made where the name of a "metropolitan 'county'" (which has no council of course) has become a convenient collective label for the urban conurbation encompassed within such a name.

In no case should the name of a local government area be used in such a way as to suggest that it replaces any historic county or counties.

Dividing the United Kingdom

Division of the United Kingdom into England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in articles is an unnecessary and inefficient division and so should be avoided.

Separate consideration of England, Wales or (England and Wales), Northern Ireland and Scotland may be required if, for example, an article is looking at legal differences or differences in administrative arrangements. In that case those parts of the kingdom should be listed alphabetically unless an alternative arrangement is more appropriate; for example in an article on the development of public education, chronology would require that Scotland be listed first.

Certain disputed names

The term "British Isles" has caused debate elsewhere, some Irish voices objecting to the term British Isles to describe Great Britain, Ireland and their appurtenant islands. After considering that matter, Wikishire has determined that "British Isles" is of longstanding and is not intended to reflect a political understanding, while the objections appear to be political, and therefore of no import. Therefore "British Isles" may be used freely on Wikishire, though also we use "Britain and Ireland", the choice between them being a matter of preference.

(see also Terminology of the British Isles)

In a similar way we do not shun the name "Londonderry" just because some have a political preference for another name.