Story: Human effects on the environment

Canterbury Plains

Canterbury Plains

Before human arrival the Canterbury Plains were largely covered by forest, although there were probably a few areas of open grassland. Burning by the earliest Polynesian settlers destroyed nearly all the forest, apart from a few small remnants. When European settlers arrived in the 19th century they burnt the remaining forest stands and developed the land for intensive farming.

Using this item

Private collection
Photograph by Christina Troup

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Janet Wilmshurst, 'Human effects on the environment - Pre-European deforestation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/12538/canterbury-plains (accessed 25 February 2020)

Story by Janet Wilmshurst, published 24 Sep 2007