Gateway to the region

Castle Water
Castle Water

The Discovery Centre will not just be to enable visitors to learn about and explore the Reserve at Rye Harbour, but will act as a gateway for visitors keen to explore both the village and the fantastic natural places throughout the whole region.

Boosting our tourist economy

Nature tourism is one of the fastest-growing areas in travel today. More and more people are seeking out-of-the-way, natural experiences to fill their weekends or even entire holidays, both in the UK and worldwide.

Rye Harbour is already a part of that trend – and we want to do more.

With over 360,000 visits every year, the Reserve is already a major visitor attraction. With our new Discovery Centre we hope to build on that – by increasing visitors, yes, but, more importantly, by extending the traditional visitor season beyond the peak summer months. And with plenty to do all year round at the new Centre, we believe that’s entirely possible.

But the Centre will be more than just about the Reserve. The entire region – from Hastings to Hythe – is full of spectacular natural wonders, from the soggy plains of Romney Marsh, the shingle desolation of Dungeness, to the flat sands and dunes of Camber.

Strategies from both Rother and Shepway District Councils want the new Discovery Centre at Rye Harbour to be a Gateway to this region, providing:

  • Maps and directions to all the wonderful natural places to visit
  • Information about the environments and wildlife that make this place so special
  • Listings of events, festivals and activities across the region
  • Guidance on how to explore nature ‘sustainably’ and without damaging it

We think this opportunity is really exciting. That’s why we’re joining with a host of other organisations in the region, including Rother Council, 1066 Country Marketing, the High Weald AONB Unit, Romney Marsh Partnership and Kent Wildlife Trust – to name a few – on a special initiative to promote our region’s stunning natural landscapes, while also looking after it for future generations.

If you want to keep posted with news on these initiatives – and more – why not subscribe to our e-newsletter? Just enter your details here  and we’ll keep you up to date.

Visiting school group

Helping our local community

Our Project isn’t just about the Nature Reserve – we want it to benefit everyone living in our community too.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve surveyed hundreds of visitors, local residents and townsfolk to find out what they would like to see result from having a new visitor attraction in their area. The message is loud and clear – it must benefit everyone living here, young and old.

We’re working in three fields to achieve this:

  • By establishing a big new education and training programme, which will see over 7,000 school and college pupils tutored in science, nature and the environment
  • By creating an exciting programme of events and activities which will be rolled out once the new Centre is open, with special programmes for children and young people, adults, and people with disabilities
  • By establishing “Discover Rye Harbour” – a project to capture the maximum economic benefits for businesses and residents of Rye Harbour, being developed in conjunction with Rother District Council

We’re raising funds towards all three of these initiatives right now, so why not help your local community by donating a few pounds towards our campaign – and you’ll know that every penny will go toward making Rye and Rye Harbour a better place to live for all our community >> please donate here