Love Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

by Sussex Wildlife Trust in Rye Harbour, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 13th April 2020 we successfully raised £2,637 ( + est. £121.75 Gift Aid ) with 23 supporters in 35 days

Help kit out the Education Zone of the new Discovery Centre at the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

by Sussex Wildlife Trust in Rye Harbour, England, United Kingdom

Helping people discover our amazing wildlife

Once the building of the Rye Harbour Discovery Centre has been completed, we will need help to kit out this fantastic education facility. This will mean we can teach everyone of every age and ability how special Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is for wildlife, which we hope, in turn, will mean that they care about it and want to protect it in the future. 

What's special about Rye Harbour Nature Reserve?

The nature reserve is a beautiful, exposed coastal landscape in East Sussex, offering a wilderness experience to people of all ages and abilities. 

In spring 2020, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve celebrates 50 years as one of Britain’s most important conservation sites, with outstanding geological, biological, cultural and heritage value. 

Our mosaic of interlocking shingle ridges, saltmarsh, intertidal grazing, reed-beds and saline lagoons is home to 4,275 species of plants and animals.

More than 300 of these species are nationally rare or endangered, such as Stinking Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce and the Pale Grass Eggar Moth. 

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is visited by important numbers of birds, all year round. Some nesting, some wintering and many passing through on their global migrations. 

Just a few of our very special visitors include:

  • Ringed Plover (pictured below)
  • Little Tern
  • Avocet
  • Oystercatcher

What is the Discovery Centre?

Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve have been working together to build the Rye Harbour Discovery Centre. 

It is an accessible visitor resource that will provide shelter, toilets and a café, as well as important facilities for learning.

This means that everyone, of any age and ability, can enjoy the reserve, whatever the weather. 

We want the new centre to inspire future generations of nature lovers and environmentalists to cherish the reserve and care about our incredible wildlife.

What will happen with the money raised? 

It will be used to help fit out the educational facility within the Discovery Centre, which will host school excursions and adult education.  

We'd love to be able to work with as many people as possible, and give them the best experience of the reserve that we can, so that they learn to love and respect our amazing wildlife, and want to protect it in the future.

Some examples of what your money would help us buy:

Indoor and outdoor equipment for students and young people, to help them learn more about this special reserve, in particular the installation of a dividing wall for the educational area, so we can use this space more flexibly. 

The sorts of things they will be using in this area will include:

  • bug pots
  • binoculars
  • shrimp nets
  • buckets
  • microscopes 
  • geography kits

Once everything is in place, we will be able to enhance our programme of events, to host groups of all ages and abilities.

By helping us with a donation, for a limited time, you can also choose one of the fantastic 'Rewards'. Simply select one of the 'Pledge' options to make your donation. Some of the reward dates are dependent on the Coronavirus situation and Government advice. If necessary we will do our best to arrange new fulfillment dates for later in the year.

To make a donation with no 'Reward' just select 'Donate' and enter the amount. 

Thank you so much for your support.

Who is Sussex Wildlife Trust?

Sussex Wildlife Trust is a nature conservation charity for everyone who cares about wildlife in Sussex. The Trust manages over 30 nature reserves, including Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. Its work focuses on protecting the wonderfully rich natural life that is found across our towns, countryside and coast.

Who are the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve? 

The Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is a charity whose 2,000 members support the nature reserve’s work through subscription and volunteering. Since 1973, it has part-funded the cost of staff, land purchase, large scale habitat creation, tools, vehicles and visitor facilities at the reserve. 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

A donation

A big thank you from all the staff and volunteers at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

£15 or more

5 of 50 claimed

Map of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

To help everyone of every age and ability enjoy our nature reserve all year round and learn about its special wildlife and history, a collectable and colourful A2 picture map of the Nature Reserve, crammed full of interesting facts and figures.

£20 or more

0 of 15 claimed

Children's Beach Discovery

Join a group on Thursday 30th July, from 1.30-4pm for an afternoon's guided tour of discovery on the beach for children to explore the shore and find out about our wonderful marine life. Children will need to be accompanied by an adult.

£25 or more

7 of 20 claimed

Signed Shingle Shore Book

THE SHINGLE SHORE is a book about the wildlife and landscapes of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. It is 125 pages long, packed with 327 colour images by more than 20 artists and photographers. The perfect gift for anyone who loves this iconic reserve and its wildlife.

£50 or more

0 of 20 claimed

Camber Castle Exclusive

An invite to a fantastic guided group walking tour on Saturday 27th June of Henry VIII's historic castle, including exclusive access to the castle itself. There will be two groups of 10, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

£50 or more

0 of 6 claimed

Bumblebee Identification Walk

Join a small group on Monday 3rd August walking through the lovely, bee-friendly wildflower areas on the reserve, learning how to identify this most charismatic creature. The walk will be led by local bee experts Peter and Morgan.

£60 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Wild Flower Discovery

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve has more than 500 flowering plants including many rare species. On Sunday 28th June one of our plant experts will help this small group discover and identify many of the most interesting ones.

£80 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Birding Walk with an Expert

An enjoyable half day birding on Sunday 14th June with a local expert, who will take a small group to the best spots to see birds on either the north or the south part of the reserve.

£100 or more

2 of 6 claimed

Land Rover Safari

A place on a personalised three hour guided tour, on Saturday 13th June, of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve in a Land Rover, with Reserve Manager Dr Barry Yates, to include refreshments. Barry is hugely knowledgeable about this wonderful wetland and its special flora and fauna.

£125 or more

0 of 6 claimed

Bird Ringing Demonstration

A fantastic, rare opportunity to go out into the Reserve to work alongside a licensed Bird Ringer. This small group will observe how to ring, record and release birds in their natural habitat. The date is weather dependent and will be arranged in late June.

£200 or more

0 of 4 claimed

Landscape Photography Day with Peter Greenhalf ARP

A day with award-winning landscape photographer Peter Greenhalf, taking pictures of the reserve. The group will learn about composition, the effect of light and new ways of looking at colour, texture and contrasts within your photography. You will also create a cyanotype, using a historical photographic technique, to take home as a memento. Friday 2nd October including morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea at the Avocet Gallery, Rye Harbour.

£500 or more

0 of 20 claimed

Love a Plover

Your donation will mean that your name will be added to a plaque in the new Discovery Centre, complimented by an artist-designed frieze of a flying flock of Golden Plovers.

£1,000 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Team Building Day

Offer your staff the chance to take part in important conservation work, supporting local wildlife, with a bespoke, team-building day on the nature reserve. A maximum of 20 participants. Date to be agreed.

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