Totara Reserve is situated in the Pohangina Valley on the eastern side of the Pohangina River, in the Manawatu [click here to view location]. It encompasses an area of 348 hectares, much of it podocarp forest, made up of totara, matai, rimu and kahikatea, as well as some black beech.
Its history as a reserve began in 1886, when it was gazetted under the provisions of the State Forests Act (1885) as a ‘reserve for growth & preservation of timber and for river conservation purposes’. This at a time when the area was been ‘opened up’ for settlement – settlement in the Pohangina Valley area began with Ashhurst in March 1879.
In 1932, a portion of the Reserve was designated as a Scenic Reserve under the provisions of the Scenery Preservation Act 1908, and vested in the Pohangina County Council. Continue reading
Long-time envirohistory NZ followers may remember I had a fairly regular post introducing the most popular posts for the quarter or year. It’s been a while since I have done this so I thought as a celebration of envirohistory NZ’s ‘rebirth’, I would present the top 5 posts of ALL TIME (well, since 2009). So here they are:
The Scandinavian settlers of the Manawatu (first published January 2010)
Maori gardening in pre-European New Zealand ((first published June 2010)
Earthquake reveals the forgotten streams of Christchurch (first published May 2011)
Opiki Toll Bridge: graceful relic of a thriving flax industry (first published May 2011)
Waitangi Park – an urban wetland recreated (first published December 2010)
Decisions made by men more than a century and a half ago led to me facing an unpleasant ethical dilemma a few days ago.
It was mid-autumn when we moved to our new home in the Pohangina Valley, and the valley has been ablaze with autumn colour – one of the advantages of living in a colder climate where seasons are more delineated.
This has been one of my favourite scenes: a vista from our drive, across the farmer’s paddock out to the Ruahine Range. I love the vibrant contrast of colour: the red of the solitary pin oak, the green of the pasture and bush, against the backdrop of blue-tinged mountain range.
This post was first published on www.catherineknight.nz
About three weeks ago my family and I made a very big life change. We moved from comfortable, convenient, leafy suburbia on the Kapiti Coast to a 7-acre block of land in rural Manawatu. This involved moving ourselves out of our 213 m2 4-bedroom, double-garaged home into a garage-less house of exactly half that size.
There is a very good reason for us doing this: it wasn’t the plan.
I will be doing a talk about my book Ravaged Beauty, with a focus on the Manawatu River, at the historic Ashhurst Community Library (seen here in its original form as a post office), on:
Thursday, 20th October at 7pm.
This will possibly be my last talk about my first book, which is fitting, because I lived in Ashhurst when I first conceived on the idea of doing a history of the Manawatu. I also have the last few books left, so it may peoples’ last opportunity to purchase one (at discount, of course).
Look forward to seeing some of you there. Download flyer for talk here.