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Farm branches into eco-tourism

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke with Louise Freckelton of Highland Farm, Mount Adrah, which will be the site for a new tourism eco-hut partly funded by a NSW Government Regional Tourism Fund grant of $99,080.

A Mount Adrah farm will build an eco-tourism hut with the help of a $99,000 state government grant.

Highland Farm and Woodland secured the regional tourism grant to build an accommodation hut made from reused materials running on solar and battery power.

The hut will enable visitors to stay on the sustainable farm, tp enjoy birdwatching, bushwalking, mountain bike riding as well as some tasty treats.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke was at the farm on Wednesday to announce the grant with Louise Feckleton.

“This is such an exciting idea and shows what happens when somebody combines a love of the land with innovative thinking,” Ms Cooke said.

“Louise has come up with an idea which will make for a fantastic holiday destination, and it’s a pleasure to be able to help grow tourism in the Cootamundra electorate with a Regional Tourism Fund grant.

“This area will attract visitors who enjoy walking or cycling in the beautiful landscapes here, while birdwatchers will be drawn by the prospect of seeing some of the 127 different species found here.

“And as if that wasn’t enough, the hut will have a kitchen where cooking enthusiasts can prepare a fine meal using produce direct from Louise’s farm and enjoy a magical evening dinner on the hut’s veranda.”

David and Louise Feckleton  farm one-third of Highfield, raising Dorper Sheep for high-quality lamb, Dexter cattle and pasture-raised Chickens for eggs. The remaining two-thirds of Highfield is reserved for the conservation of Box Gum Grassy Woodland, a habitat that sustains many vulnerable and endangered species of plants, animals and birds.

Ms Freckelton said she was also discussing an additional opportunity for visitors to the eco-hut.

“The hut will be on the boundary of our conservation area so people can go walking or cycling or birdwatching, and we can offer an introduction to birdwatching and loan a pair of binoculars,” she said.

“But we are also negotiating with local Wiradjuri representatives looking at leading a tour on the property, where we have found some extraordinary and beautiful heritage.

“And if people are bringing their kids, we will have lambs for them to get to know and feed too.”