Menai Wildflower Group and Glossies in the Mist

By Lloyd Hedges

Menai Wildflower Groups involvement with the Glossies in the Mist

Menai Wildflower Group run a nursery now owned by Cleanaway but originally owned by WSN, a quasi state government company for the regeneration of the Lucas Heights site with natural bush grown from locally sourced seed. After being privatised and operated by SUEZ that goal of regeneration was abandoned, and the nursery lost its purpose. So, other outlets had to be found for the nursery. First, thanks to Barry Hodgson we started to supply existing stock to Georges River National Park regeneration projects. By word of mouth this led to Pat Nagle asking us to grow plants for the coastal walking track in the Royal National Park. Next came Dharawahl National Park with Rowena Morris, through mutual friend Chris Lloyd and most exciting for all of us at the time, replanting of Big Island in the 5 Islands Reserve.

During a lull in Big Island we received a call from Pat Halls, then a Scientific officer with the Southern National Park. At the time Pat was looking after the shore birds, but was concerned about the fragmentation of the Great Western Wildlife Corridor that offered flora and fauna a connection between the Blue Mountains and the coast at Morton National Park. This fragmentation was particularly problematic for the endangered Glossy Black cockatoos, known as ‘the Glossies’. When Pat received an enquiry from the Committee for Bundanoon’s 150th Anniversary for an appropriate project to celebrate the occasion she suggested offering 150 Allocasuarina seedlings for Bundanoonies to plant to help save the Glossy Black cockatoos.

When the day came to hand out the tube stock they were completely overwhelmed by the response. There were not only more people wanting plants than there were tubes, but many people wanted them by the hundreds. National Parks, led by Lauren Hook took up the challenge and the Glossies in the Most campaign was formed to supply Allocasuarina seedlings to those who wish to plant them. Menai Wildflower Group supports the project by propagating and supplying the seedlings to be distributed.  With funding from Save Our Species, the project has expanded to also supplying crews to plant the seedlings. 

Up to 2021 Menai Wildflower Group has supplied 13,000 plants. This year we are hoping to supply 15,000.