Environmental historian Dr Catherine Knight has won the Palmerston North Heritage Trust’s inaugural award for the best work of history relating to the Manawatu. Ravaged Beauty: An Environmental History of the Manawatu was described by co-judge Jill White as an outstanding winner from the 2013-14 publications considered. Intensively researched and engagingly written, Ravaged Beauty is also extensively illustrated and beautifully produced. The book focusses on the Manawatu and its transition from heavily-forested hills, terraces, with lowland swamps and terraces to the farmed and peopled Manawatu we know today, but is of much wider national significance for the range of issues it covers. In making the award, the Heritage Trust judges took account of all these features, and Trust members were delighted to see the first award going to a volume of such high quality.
The Heritage Trust hopes to make such an award biennially to encourage and acknowledge the writing of local histories of the area.
The award-winning book, Ravaged Beauty, is available from local bookshops but can also be ordered via Catherine Knight’s environmental history blog www.envirohistorynz.com