Were the Scottish really greener?

Did Scottish and Irish settlers bring particular land management practices with them to New Zealand? In particular, did the Scottish have a strong conservation ethic which made them “greener” than their fellow-settlers, as is sometimes claimed? These were some of the questions addressed by Professor Tom Brooking (University of Otago) at a conference in Aberdeen which explored the environmental histories of Scottish and Irish migrants to countries of the “New World” such as New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

At the conference, United Kingdom based Environmental Historian Dr Jan Oosthoek interviewed Prof. Brooking and asked him about the environmental practices of Irish and Scottish settlers in New Zealand. He also asked him to talk about what makes New Zealand’s environmental history unusual and unique.

Photo: Scottish-born politician, explorer and conservationist, Sir Thomas McKenzie (standing, centre) with party in Southland, between 1908-14. McKenzie was instrumental in making Fiordland a national park and was a founding member of the Forest & Bird Society. Used with permission from Alexander Turnbull Library ref PA1-0-307-42.

Click here to download the podcast (scroll down to Podcast 19)

One thought on “Were the Scottish really greener?

  1. There’s a unique opportunity for environmental historians to study today, the effects on modernisation, and tourism pressues on an unchanged environment, and culture, that has been insulated from our developed world.
    Check out the island of Socotra off the coast of Yemen and Somalia.
    And the changes occurring now with the influx of tourism,a very recent phenomenom, that this island needs to get to grips with.
    Perhaps the whole island should become World Heritage Status, before irreverible damage is done.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socotra

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