What will the Discovery Centre look like?

The Discovery Centre at Rye Harbour will transform the way people explore the wonders of nature and wildlife.

It’s been designed by leading architects Simpson & Brown, responsible for the multi award-winning Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick. And like that Centre, we hope it will prove a fantastic new asset for the Reserve and the whole of the region.

Located, as it will be, inside the Nature Reserve itself, it needs to fit perfectly in its environment, so it will have a number of features we think are really important:

  • Its lightweight timber frame and cladding will not only be from sustainable sources, but grown locally, wherever possible
  • Its large glazed windows will give a perfect view of the Reserve
  • It will be raised from ground level on piles to prevent it from flooding
  • It will be energy efficient – with low-impact heating and cooling and able to generate electricity from the sun
  • It will be fully accessible, enabling people with disabilities to enjoy it too
  • Rainwater will be collected and diverted into the Reserve to replenish the lagoons

Where will it be built?

RHDC Site Plan

The Centre will be constructed on precisely the same site as Lime Kiln Cottage, the former Warden’s cottage and garden. To do this, we’re having to demolish the cottage, but it isn’t listed, and is dilapidated already.

We chose this site for good reasons:

  • It’s easy to find – on the main track most people use to access the Reserve
  • As a former residence, it’s the one part of the Reserve which isn’t protected by the various international wildlife designations of the surrounding land
  • It’s a great starting point for exploring the rest of the Reserve
  • It replaces a near-derelict building which is no longer fit for purpose