Land utilisation in the Marlborough Sounds
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This study of Land Utilisation in the Marlborough Sounds has four aims :
(a) to map and describe the pattern of location and distribution of land utilisation;
(b) to investigate the relationships between the respective classes of land utilisation;
(c) to attempt to isolate the main causal factors. of location and interrelation; and
(d) to attempt to apply the findings in the evaluation of trends from the present pattern.
Because of the confusion evident in the writings· of geographers and others studying aspects of the cultural landscape, over the usage of the term land utilisation especially when used in conjunction with the term land use, it would be well to define the usage to be employed in this study. The natural and artificial cover of the earth’s surface will here be referred to as land cover; land utilisation shall be understood to mean the actual use of the land cover; and land use loosely used in other studies to mean either of these phenomena, shall here be used to embrace both, the one as its physical form and the other as its economic function.
The classifications of land cover and land utilisation for the purpose of this study have been designed to emphasise the fundamental differences within the region. Variations in .the visible landscape are the criteria for classifying and mapping land cover as cropland, pasture, scrub, forest and barren. Cropland includes fallow and all land under feed grain pulse and seed crops; improved pasture is a grassland of English grasses and clover which is maintained in a relatively weed free condition (under twenty-five per cent weed cover) without the use of fire after topdressing or sowing; range pasture and deteriorated pasture are grasslands chiefly of native grasses in which there is persistent reversion to weeds which is controlled mainly by the use of fire. The criterion for distinguishing the two is a fifty per cent weed cover. Scrub is a total cover of reversion weeds; forest includes second growth, virgin indigenous forest and exotic plantation; and barren is those parts of the earth's surface which are exposed. Variations in the visible landscape are not a satisfactory basis for the classification of land utilisation and in this study, the classification and mapping of utilisation is based on the dominant economic (or non-economic) function of each legal section. The classes distinguished are farming, recreational (where Land is used for holiday resorts or for private dwellings or has been subdivided for these purposes), commercial forestry, scenic reserve (which includes municipal reserves and private scenic reserves as well as Crown reserves); protection forest (State Forest and Climate and Timber Reserves); and unutilised.