Aerial view of StanleyThe Falkland islands are a group of islands (called an archipelago) in the South Atlantic Ocean, lying 500 kilometres (311 miles) off the eastern coast of Patagonia in southern Argentina. The two main islands, East and West Falkland, are separated by the Falkland Sound. Another 776 smaller islands make up the group. The windswept, hilly landscape is mostly tundra, with very few trees. The climate is cold and wet, and it can snow nearly all year round. The Falkland Islands are a British Overseas Territory: they are a possession of the UK, but have their own government. Since the 19th century, their ownership has been disputed. Argentina lays claim to the islands, which it calls the Islas Malvinas, on the basis that it acquired them from Spain when it achieved independence in 1816.
More than three-quarters of the islanders live in and around Stanley, the capital and the only major town on the islands. Most are of British (mainly Scottish and Welsh) descent, while others come from Chile and the Atlantic island of St Helena. The islanders are British citizens, and have close links with the UK. Children attend primary and secondary school on the islands, but for their final years of education they most travel around 20,000 kilometres (12,000 miles) to study in Britain.
Anywhere on the Falkland Islands outside the capital, Stanley, is known as “Camp”.
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