At envirohistory NZ, we like to review the most popular posts of each quarter (though sometimes – such as on this occasion – a little late). The top five posts of the first quarter of 2011 covered a wide breadth of topics, from the the environmental histories which contributed to the devastating consequences of the seismic disasters of Christchurch and Japan; an urban wetland; a history of whaling in New Zealand; and the Scandanavian settlers of the Manawatu. Here are the topics in order of hits:

1. The Scandinavian settlers of the Manawatu

2. Waitangi Park – an urban wetland recreated

3. Christchurch: a city haunted by its environmental past?

4. Perano – the last whaling station in New Zealand

5. Nature strikes again – beautiful Tohoku’s coastal towns devastated by tsunami

Photo: As the pioneering settlers of the Manawatu, and renowned for their skills as axemen and foresters, Scandinavian settlers were instrumental in clearing the thick forest that covered the area that was to become the city of Palmerston North. This photo shows the tramline to cart logs for milling. Palmerston North City Library Ti2.