Staffordshire

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The coat of arms of Staffordshire County Council

Staffordshire is a county of the north Midlands in the centre of England. Its population (2006 estimate) is 1.02m and the county town is Stafford. Until local government reorganisation in 1974 created the county of West Midlands, much of the industrial Black Country lay in Staffordshire. Now, the main industrial area is that of Stoke on Trent (known as The Potteries), famous for its pottery and ceramics manufacture. The remainder of the county is largely rural, and the east, extending into the Pennine foothills, is hilly. Major towns include Newcastle-under-Lyme, Leek, Uttoxeter, and Burton upon Trent. The city of Lichfield is notable for its cathedral, the only medieval English cathedral with three spires.

Its centralised location places it at the northern or southern extremes of the ranges of many species, and is one of the reasons for its rich and diverse flora and fauna, with good examples of most wildlife habitats and even an area of inland saltmarsh. Of particular importance are the lowland heathlands, the Staffordshire moorlands and the limestone valleys. The extensive network of rivers, inland waterways and meres and mosses add a further important dimension.

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