This month the Intermediate class have written about some interesting facts they have learned about the UK. Read on to learn about some things you may not have heard before.
The Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square is a present from Norway
The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree is a tree that has been given to the people of London since 1947 as a thanks for the British support to Norway during the Second World War.
The tree is usually a Norwegian spruce of over 20 metres high and is 50 to 60 years old. It is selected with great care from the forests surrounding Oslo, usually several months, or even years, in advance.
The tree is felled in November during a ceremony in which the Lord Mayor of Westminster, the British ambassador to Norway and the mayor of Oslo participate. It is brought to the UK by sea, then completes its journey to London by lorry. A specialist rigging team then erect it in the square using a hydraulic crane.
There Was Once a Political Party with a Cat as the Leader.
We all know about Larry, the cat who lives in Downing street to hunt mice, but did you know that a cat was once leader of a political party in the UK?
The political party the Official Monster Raving Looney Party was founded by Lord Sutch in 1992. The party had some crazy ideas, such as clearing national debt by putting it all on a credit card and supergluing unruly teenagers together. When Lord Sutch died in 1999, Alan Hope
and his cat, Catmando, took over the party. Unfortunately, in 2020 Catmando was killed in a crash and Alan Hope became the only leader of the party.
London is Officially a Forest
While London is a very big and built-up city, it actually has the most green spaces of any city in Europe. London has about 3000 parks and the total area of green space is about 1592 square kilometres; an area which is about half as big as the whole city!
Why does London have so much green space? Because people in London like gardening.
It is Illegal to Feed the Pigeons in Trafalgar Square.
Another fact about Trafalgar Square. The reasons this is illegal is because it increases the number of pigeons. In the past, it was possible to buy food to feed pigeons in the square and many pigeons were fed by
tourists. However, this was banned in 2001 because of the damage the pigeons were causing to the statues and monuments in the square, and now you can be given a fine for doing so.
The most popular Takeaway Food in the UK
While fish and chips is probably the most famous British food, in the UK it is actually not the most popular. The most popular food among people living in the UK is Indian. This has a historical background. In the past India was a British colony and nowadays there are many immigrants and descendants from India living in the UK. Living here you can notice that there are Indian restaurants everywhere, two especially popular areas in London for Indian food are Southall and Tooting.