Congratulations to Lloyd Hedges of Menai Group who was awarded Life membership at the APS NSW Annual General Meeting on 18 May 2019. Menai Group's nomination of Lloyd is reproduced here.
Lloyd Hedges with Pam Pitkeathly, Vice President of Menai Group
Lloyd Hedges received the APS NSW Conservation Award in 2012 and has continued his very active contribution to the objectives of APS NSW since then.
Lloyd’s involvement in Australian native plants has never had a narrow focus. He continues to show the connections between Australian flora and birds and animals, and the need to conserve our plants so that diversity is preserved. He puts time into fostering good relations among neighbouring APS groups, to helping school children plant out gardens and conducting regular workshops for adults to improve their knowledge of propagation. His annual splitting of the bee hives at Illawong should not be missed. He supplies tube stock to other groups and to Sydney Wildflower Nursery and Illawarra Grevillea Park, giving Menai Group the financial stability to offer scholarships to students, fund research and to offer workshops to the community.
Developing the Illawong Fire Station native garden
In 2002, Lloyd promoted Illawong Rural Fire Services station as a base for Menai Wildflower Group, where we have operated successfully as a showcase for what the Society stands for. We have extended the operation onto Sutherland Council land adjoining the fire station and have installed propagation equipment to raise plants for members, to supply plants for various projects and to conduct workshops for the community every month.
Growing for conservation
Two major undertakings have been engineered by Lloyd over recent times: the growing of thousands of sheoaks to line a corridor from coast to mountains for black cockatoos (the Glossies in the Mist project), and the growing and planting of lomandra in large quantities for delivery to Big Island via small tender in rough seas for the Five Islands project near Wollongong.
Lloyd's involvement in both projects has given valuable publicity to APS groups and provided more understanding of the importance of habitat for biodiversity.
Developing the pink flannel flower
Lloyd found examples of Actinotus forsythii, the pink flannel flower, in the Blue Mountains and managed to propagate this at Illawong, providing those pots of rare pink flannel flowers that were in great demand at APS meetings. He advocated a grant to UNSW for a research project to examine this in detail, and we are expecting a report in 2019. This scientific approach by Lloyd to Australian natives did not surprise members and colleagues who were witness to his early experiments in producing “smoke water” at the Tip nursery.
Supporting Sutherland Council Bushcare
Lloyd has played an active role in Bushcare in the Sutherland Shire for over 15 years. He continues these links and is involved with the ongoing survey of Powerful Owl nesting sites, work which provides great images for the web pages and opportunities to showcase these birds to younger generations.
In 2003, Menai Group, with the help of ANSTO, published a walking guide to the Mill Creek area. Lloyd described the tracks and identified the native flora on each track, as well as some rare aboriginal carvings which can be seen on the walk. Bardens ‘n Bush is no longer in print, but we still get enquires from people outside of the region. This project was only possible because of Lloyd’s personal knowledge of the restricted area and the contacts he had developed, and a ripple effect is still being experienced.
Lloyd’s exploration of inland Australia and its flora has been beneficial for all of us, providing many a talk for APS groups over the years, with great images to accompany his tales, not to mention the wonderful seed pod and wire jewellery that his wife Mary produced. At national level, Lloyd took part in the Desert Plant Survey in February 2011.