Only a century and a half ago, the Manawatu was a heavily forested hinterland: the floodplains were a sea of swamps and lagoons, teeming with birdlife, eels and other fish; the hills and terraces were covered with thick impenetrable forest, refuge perhaps to a few lingering moa.
Ravaged Beauty tells the story of one place, from prehistory to today. But its themes are universal. What motivates the human desire to modify and exploit their natural environment, and have people learned anything from the consequences? Read this new book to find out.
But within a few decades, the forest had been reduced to ashes, and the swamps and lagoons were being drained away. Progress marched across the landscape in the form of farms and settlements.
However, it wasn’t long before nature “exacted its revenge”: erosion scarred the hillsides, floods ravaged farms and towns. Pollution of the rivers saw fish dying en masse. How would the people of the region meet these environmental challenges, and what lessons would there be for the future? By “peeling away the layers”, this book tells the intriguing story of the Manawatu’s environmental history, illustrated with a rich array of maps and historical images.
Order online at www.dunmore.co.nz or purchase at a good bookstore near you.
Download Ravaged Beauty flyer (with ordering details)