[Grammar] much of which

Maybo

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There are plenty of opportunities for strolls in the nearby Chiltern Hills, much of which is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Is "which" refer to Chiltern Hills?
Why do we need comma before "much....." ?
 

Rover_KE

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What is the source of the quoted sentence?
 

Maybo

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An ad from 《Lonely Planet》
 

teechar

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Can you be a bit more specific? Do you have a link?
 

Maybo

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Can you be a bit more specific? Do you have a link?
There is no link for the sentence.

"A crisp, clear December day makes for prime walking time, particularly when you can warm yourself by the pub fire or loll in a roll-top bath afterwards. There are plenty of opportunities for strolls in the nearby Chiltern Hills, much of which is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty."

I don't understand why we need a comma to separate this sentence. Can I delete it?
 

tzfujimino

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That means the comma is required there, doesn't it?
 

teechar

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... the nearby Chiltern Hills, much of which is designated
For the benefit of learners who may be wondering about subject-verb agreement in the above, the word "area" is implied after "Hills". In other words, we are talking about the Chiltern Hills area (or region), not about individual hills.
 

tzfujimino

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I think it is safe to say that Chiltern Hills is singular because it's a place name. I didn't know exactly what it was until I read the comments from teechar and Rover, but I was confident it was a name of a place.
I think the same goes for Beverly Hills in the U.S. (grammatically, of course.)

(Edit)
However, in this article, the Chiltern Hills is plural. It says The Chiltern Hills form ... They are ...
 
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