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Lincolnshire (abbreviated Lincs) is a county in the east of England. It borders Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Rutland, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire, and the East Riding of Yorkshire. It also borders Northamptonshire for just 62 feet, England's shortest county boundary. The county town is the city of Lincoln, where the county council has its headquarters.
The ceremonial county of Lincolnshire is composed of the non-metropolitan county of Lincolnshire and the area covered by the unitary authorities of North Lincolnshire and North-East Lincolnshire. The county is the second largest of the English counties and one that is predominantly agricultural in land use.
The county can be broken down into a number of geographical sub-regions including: the Lincolnshire Fens (south Lincolnshire), the Carrs (similar to the Fens but in north Lincolnshire), the Lincolnshire Wolds, and the industrial Humber Estuary and North Sea coast around Grimsby and Scunthorpe.
Lincolnshire derived from the merging of the territory of the ancient Kingdom of Lindsey with that controlled by the Danelaw borough of Stamford. For some time the entire county was called 'Lindsey', and it is recorded as such in the Domesday Book. Later, Lindsey was applied to the northern core, around Lincoln, and emerged as one of the three Parts of Lincolnshire, along with the Parts of Holland in the south east and the Parts of Kesteven in the south west, which each had separate Quarter Sessions as their county administrations.
In 1888 when county councils were set up, Lindsey, Holland and Kesteven each received their own separate one. These survived until 1974, when Holland, Kesteven, and most of Lindsey were unified into Lincolnshire, and the northern part, including Scunthorpe Municipal Borough and Grimsby County Borough, was incorporated into the newly formed non-metropolitan county of Humberside, along with most of the East Riding of Yorkshire.
A further local government reform in 1996 abolished Humberside, and the land south of the Humber was allocated to the unitary authorities of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. These two areas became part of Lincolnshire for ceremonial purposes such as the Lord-Lieutenancy, but are not covered by the Lincolnshire police and are in the Yorkshire and the Humber region.
The remaining districts of Lincolnshire are Boston, East Lindsey, Lincoln, South Holland, North Kesteven, South Kesteven, and West Lindsey. They are part of the East Midlands region.
A more recent event was the 27 February 2008 Lincolnshire earthquake, reaching between 4.7 and 5.3 on the Richter scale; it was one of the largest earthquakes to affect Britain in recent years.
Lincolnshire is an agricultural area, growing large amounts of wheat, barley, sugar beet, and oilseed rape. In South Lincolnshire, where the soil is particularly rich in nutrients, some of the most common crops include cabbages, cauliflowers, and onions.
Mechanisation around the turn of the 20th century greatly diminished the number of workers required to operate the county's relatively large farms, and the proportion of workers in the agricultural sector dropped substantially during this period. Several major engineering companies developed in Lincoln, Gainsborough and Grantham to support those changes, perhaps most famously Fosters of Lincoln, who built the first tank, and Richard Hornsby & Sons of Grantham. Most such companies are long gone, and Lincolnshire is no longer an engineering centre.
Today, immigrant workers mainly from Portugal and from new member states of the European Union in Central and Eastern Europe comprise a very large component of the seasonal agricultural workforce, particularly in the south of the county where more labour-intensive crops such as small vegetables and cut flowers are typically grown. This seasonal influx of migrant labour occasionally causes tension between the migrant workforce and local people, in a county which is still relatively unaccustomed to the large scale immigration experienced by other parts of the United Kingdom.[
Lincolnshire is one of the few counties within the UK that still uses the Eleven plus to decide who may attend grammar school. As a result, many towns in Lincolnshire have both a Grammar school and a Secondary Modern school. Lincolnshire's rural character means that some larger villages also have primary schools and are served by buses to nearby high schools.