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Wild Rye: Discover Our Wetland Wildlife

Bittern in Winter

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve


The Nature Reserve and birdwatching hides are open at all times along a network of footpaths. Entry is free. For your satnav the main entrance is at TN31 7TU

Rye Harbour is a fascinating Nature Reserve and worth a visit whether you want to discover its wildlife and habitats, explore its history, or simply experience the landscape and enjoy a walk beside the sea, whatever the season. The Nature Reserve lies within a large triangle of land extending south from Rye, along the River Rother, past Rye Harbour to the sea, westward to Winchelsea Beach and northwards along the River Brede.

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This triangle of land is largely designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of the many unusual plants and animals that live here as well as the way the land has been built up by the sea over the last 500 years. Shingle wildlife is specialised because of the harsh conditions that prevail, so there are many rare and endangered plants and animals to be found here. Large gravel pits were created by shingle extraction and these have become a valuable habitat for wetland wildlife. Most of the area also has the European wildlife designations of Special Protection Area (SPA) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC). In 2006 the SSSI was included in the new 9,000+ ha. site called the Dungeness, Romney Marsh and Rye Bay SSSI.

Information for dog owners

Dogs are allowed into the reserve, but owners are asked to keep them under close control and to use the bins provided to dispose of mess.

RX Wildlife website

For DAILY WILDLIFE INFORMATION from the Nature Reserve and the coast and countryside from Hastings to Hythe.

Click here to visit now!