This post reviews the top posts of the third quarter of 2010. Our favourite Californian again proves very popular, this quarter overtaking A tale of mining, which was very topical earlier in the year. The others in the top 5 traverse a diverse range of themes: Maori horticulture, a rare inner-city oasis of ancient forest, the surprisingly recent history of whaling in New Zealand, and eels – which have figured so large both in our streams, rivers and estuaries as well as our cultural history. (more…)

Growing up in the Manawatu, I took for granted the largely homogeneous dune landscape of Himatangi, Foxton and other west-coast beaches – oblivious to the fact that this was a primarily man-made landscape. As Raewyn Peart explains in “Castles in the Sand”, the appearance of sand dunes have been extensively modified, firstly through deforestation, and then through intensive re-stabilisation efforts from the 1930s onwards. (more…)

Search terms (the key words you put in Google or any other search engine to find information about a particular topic) are an important way for readers to find a particular website or web-based article. They tell you a lot about what readers of a website are interested in. And envirohistory NZ is no exception. We are really interested in what our readers are interested in!

So, what are the top search terms that brought internet users to envirohistory NZ? (more…)

A little late, but hopefully none the worse for it, here are the top five posts for the second quarter of 2010. Two of this quarter’s top 5 were also in the top 5 in the first quarter: Our favourite Californian – the history of the Radiata Pine forestry in NZ came in at number 1 last quarter, while Manawatu River – pollution concerns date back to 1890 came in at number 2. However, this quarter, they have been upstaged by the history of mining story (more…)

We are approaching the end of March, so it must be time for the top five posts of the first quarter. Coming in at number one – by a healthy margin – is Our favourite Californian – the history of Radiata pine forestry in NZ … who would have thought? At number 2, there continues to be huge interest around our most polluted river – the Manawatu – with only the rare day passing without at least a few hits on this post. Few surprises about the next most popular posts … lawnmowers, Nga Manu Nature Reserve and Jeanette Fitzsimons – perhaps an unlikely combination anywhere else, but not here! Click on the links below to read the posts.

1. Our favourite Californian – the history of Radiata pine forestry in NZ

2. Manawatu River – pollution concerns date back to 1890

3. The lawnmower – the great New Zealand love affair

4. A Kapiti environmental history – Nga Manu

5. Jeanette Fitzsimons: how our attitudes towards the environment have changed 1974 -2010

Radiata pine (Pinus radiata, known as Monterey pine in its place of origin, California), makes up nearly 90% of New Zealand’s plantation forest (1.6 million hectares). The pine grows much faster here than its homeland – about 7 times faster than in the US and 20 times faster than in Canada. No wonder then that New Zealand, along with Chile and Australia, are the top growers of this species worldwide. New Zealand also boasts the most extensive plantation forest, dominated by radiata pine, in the southern hemisphere (Kaingaroa Forest [click here for map]). So, how did this pine species become so integral to our landscape and economy? (more…)

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