English Teacher Article 52,000 football pitches

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I saw an article about the arrests in Brazil of people involved in illegal logging and it said that the estimated area of forest they had cleared was the equivalent of 52,000 football (soccer) pitches.

The use of a football pitch is very common nowadays as a measure of area. With a small number it is fairly easy to visualise the area described, but I cannot for the life of me begin to visualise 52,000 football pitches.

Furthermore, the size of a football pitch can vary greatly. The width can be anything from 45 metres (50 yards) to 90 metres (100 yards), and the length can be between 90 metres (100 yards) and 120 metres (130 yards). This makes it impossible to guess what the loss to the Brazilian forests is. It's certainly big, but I have no idea how big. wouldn't it be easier to give the figure or to use a more natural comparison?

Categories: General

1 Comment

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You have a point, it is difficlt to envisage 52,000 football pitches! It seems a strange comparison. Alternative comparisons I've seen or heard are: the size of a small village (not much help, since the small village could have 4 houses, or two hundred), or "the size of Greater London". This last is also misleading since the population of London is dense, but its area is not necessarily vast.
Is it easier to vizualize a very large country, state or province? In Canada we might say, "You could fit the whole of the British Isles into the Province of New Brunswick". I can visualize that quite easily!
I think figures are easier to describe those 52,000 football fields. If someone says, "I have a 400 acre farm" it's visual and real, and I may have seen one. But I haven't seen 52,000 football fields. Perhaps the author was an afficionado of football or was thinking of tonight's game:-)

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