Story: Soil erosion and conservation

Burning the bush

Burning the bush

Burning the forest was the first step in converting most of the North Island hill country into farms. The maturity of native forest showed that natural erosion was minimal. The trees trapped a lot of rainfall before it could disturb the soil, and leaf litter also protected the soil. Deep tree roots anchored the underlying soil even in very wet conditions.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, R. P. Hargreaves Collection
Reference: 1/1-023274; G
Photograph by Frederick Ashby Hargreaves

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Paul Gregg, 'Soil erosion and conservation - Natural and human causes of erosion', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/19784/burning-the-bush (accessed 13 July 2020)

Story by Paul Gregg, published 24 Nov 2008