Nambucca Heads link to Royal visit

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex got their hands dirty feeding cattle when they visited a drought-stricken farm east of Dubbo last week … and the ripples of that moment spread all the way to Nambucca Heads. 

Mountain View, the fifth generation family farm established in 1887, happens to be owned by Richard Woodley, brother of Nambucca newsagent Warwick Lean’s mother Margaret.

“Mum and Dad (Don) saw the Queen in Dubbo in 1954 … and there is another link – they carpeted the house they built with the red carpet Her Royal Highness walked on,” Warwick laughed.

“They live here in town now … and didn't get out to Dubbo for this royal visit.”

Meanwhile back on the farm … courtesy of the Daily Liberal

The royal couple were greeted by a mob of sheep upon arrival at at the farm and appeared taken back by their condition. 

The Duke and Duchess topped off their visit of the farm with a morning tea prepared by the Wongarbon CWA, however it was the hand-baked banana bread prepared by the Duchess of Sussex as a token of thanks to the Woodley family which stole the show. 

While the Royal couple brought the English rain, it was not enough to make up for what has been described by many as the driest period in living memory.

Normally more than 580 millimetres falls on Dubbo in an average year. Yet in the first nine months of this year, landholders have received just 118.2 millimetres.

However fourth generation of the property Scott Woodley said the royal couple could see the impacts of the green drought, and was interested in the significant increase of seed prices. 

"They were very interested in the time we've had in the last two year's," Mr Woodley said.

"They seemed to understand exactly what we're going through. It might seem green here now but they realise there's no moisture underneath so they were very interested."

"They were very interested in the cotton seed and the hay ... and were very surprised how the cost of the grain went through the roof to $600-$700 a tonne.”  

Forth generation farmer Laura Woodley, who plans to take over the family property said it was an "honour and privilege" to have the royal couple visit, saying they could see the vast impacts of the drought, and said she looks forward to the future of their farm. 

"We have out good days and our bad days, but we're getting through it and it will rain," Ms Woodley said. 

"I'm excited for the future and whats going to happen. We've got lots of plans for the property but we need it to rain to start doing something," she said.  

The farm about 20 kilometres outside of Dubbo is know for stud breeding and sheep rearing and is run by the Richard and Margaret Woodley Family.

The couple’s son, Scott and his wife Elaine have four daughters, Laura, Elsie, Benita and Kate and live on the adjoining Kurrajong Park property. 

They are a fourth generation family of sheep graziers who have been farming the land since the late 19th century.