Radio New Zealand’s “Country Life” programme is a favourite of mine – as a born-and-bred “townie” – I enjoy the insights it provides into living off the land – whether as a farmer, horticulturalist, or cottage industry owner. The programme also features stories which provide important insights from an environmental history perspective.
The most recent programme features a story about a southern Waikato farmer who, after growing up seeing the lowland indigenous forest around her town decimated by forestry, is covenanting 4 hectares of remnant bush on her farm in Mamaku [click here to view location] to ensure its future preservation. The bush is dominated by tawa, rimu and kahikatea, and is one of the last surviving remnants on this ignimbrite plateau which was once covered in dense forest.
Like the previous story about Waotu and Gordon Stephenson, the Waikato farmer in whose mind the idea that became QEII Trust first crystallized, this story is a reminder that destruction of our indigenous forests is not something that happened in our early colonial history – it has continued into recent decades, and without constant vigilance, may continue to happen.
Click here to download the audio file for this story.
Photo: QEII National Trust representative Maggie Bayfield, fencer Winston Flemming and landowner Karen McLeay (Radio NZ).