Peel Forest residents Matt and Shelley Searles have taken over the management of the former Peel Forest Cafe, renaming it the The Green Man at Peel Forest.
In addition to running the cafe, north of Geraldine, the couple do a regular mail run into the high country, taking photos along the way.
The Courier‘s Greta Yeoman put Five Questions to them.


Q How have you ended up running the cafe in Peel Forest?
We’ve lived in Peel Forest for over three years and were friends with the previous owners. Their decision to move on coincided with our decision to do something different and here we are.

Q What’s the story behind the Green Man name?
The Green Man is an ancient concept of the embodiment of renewal and rebirth of spring and it is also a popular name for pubs in the UK.
You’ll also find Green Men carved on the roof timbers in cathedrals across Europe.
For us in Peel Forest, it’s the perfect name to celebrate nature and good hospitality.

QWho have you got performing at the cafe and bar in the next few months?
We have several bands and solo musicians, including Chloe Langley, Liam Kennedy Clark and Foxtrots.

Q How long have you been doing the mail run and what’s your favourite part of it?
We’ve been on the run to Mesopotamia [high country station] since the start of June.
It’s an amazing drive through one of the country’s most scenic valleys, full of history and incredible viewpoints.
Matt loves taking his camera each day and tries to capture its ever-changing moods on his Mail to Messy instagram at

QLastly, what’s the best-kept secret about Peel Forest?
The people. There’s a rich community here that visitors are not always aware of. The population changes over the year as seasonal workers and bach owners come and go, there are a number of active community groups and always someone ready to step in and help a neighbour out.
It’s a pretty special place to shoesAir Jordan