Why a Discovery Centre?

Lime Kilm
Lime Kiln Cottage © Barry Yates

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is very special place. 

  • It’s big – there’s over 1,100 acres to explore
  • It’s hugely important for wildlife – there are more than 4,500 varieties of plants and animals here, and over 300 of them are rare or endangered species
  • And it’s really popular – the Reserve had in excess of  360,000 visits in 2017, and the numbers are rising

But despite all that, we’ve struggled for years with poor facilities – for our visitors, our staff, our volunteers, and the schoolchildren who come to the Reserve to learn about science and nature. In fact, there’s only been one single information room at our former Warden’s cottage Lime Kiln Cottage to cope with all these demands – a very small, cold, damp and dark room of just 15m2. It’s also liable to flooding, the last time in 2013.

  • We looked at all sorts of options to find a solution. 
  • We also asked people who visit the Reserve – and all over the wider region – what they wanted to see, and why. 
  • The answers were very clear: 96% wanted to see a new visitor centre at the Reserve; a space and facility for people to enjoy, and where people of all ages can learn more about its wildlife and heritage.

You can find out more about what the Centre will look like – and what it will do – by clicking on any of the buttons on this page. 

There are a wide variety of questions people have about the Centre, too, so we’ve produced a list of Frequently-Asked Questions

And we’re delighted the Project is supported by a large number of organisations in the region. Read our letters of support here.