Like the rest of New Zealand, Marlborough has a range of different land cover patterns that reflect human pressures, such as land use change and natural pressures, such as geological processes. It is important we have a clear idea of the types and amount of specific land cover/use we have and how these may change with time.
This page provide some information about land cover/land use in the Marlborough region and why it is important to have this data.
What is happening in our region?
The proportion of eight major land cover classes in Marlborough for 2008 is shown in the figure below.. The data has been derived predominantly from the Ministry for the Environments Land Cover Database (LCDB2) and updated by Council for several land cover classes such as exotic forest, artificial surfaces (roads, infrastructure) and primarily horticulture using a combination of ground truthing and interpretation of aerial photography.
It was found that the most dominant land cover recorded in Marlborough is native vegetation. This includes vegetation such as manuka and kanuka, broad-leaved native hardwoods and tall tussock grassland. There are also significant amounts of native forest and primarily pasture (which includes both improved exotic and unimproved pasture) and lesser amounts of exotic forest cover.
Why is land use change important?
It is important we have a clear idea of the types and amount of specific land cover/use because any increase or decrease in a specific land use activity such as exotic forestry, horticulture or urbanisation has the potential to affect our environment. This includes things like soil quality, the amount of erosion, potential contamination, biodiversity, water availability and water quality.
What is the Marlborough District Council doing?
Council tracks changes in land use for some intense land use activity including the proportion of land use for viticulture, dairying and forestry.
The Council has a range of policies and programmes in place to assist with management of the regions land based resources.