On Sunday 15th, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve celebrated its 50th anniversary with a glorious, five hour walk around the whole of the nature reserve. On a day that had sunshine and a rainbow as well as some weather challenges (mostly a cold wind), 20 members of the public joined some of the Sussex Wildlife Trust team, including Dr Barry Yates, Reserve Manager for the last 37 years and Senior Learning and Engagement Officer Lucy Bowyer. Cliff Dean, Chair of the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, and James Tomlinson (Guide in a Hide volunteer) also supported the walk.
There was a great deal of combined wildlife experience in the team, and the group, who stopped in each bird hide en route, counted more than 60 different species along the way, including a rare Glossy Ibis, a Raven in Camber Castle and a grass snake swimming in Castle Water (photo: James Tomlinson).
The muddy walkers then arrived at Rye Harbour Village Hall, where Anne Yates and other volunteers had put on array of delicious homemade cakes to celebrate the 50th anniversary. Fifty raffle tickets were drawn in a raffle, for a chance to win the beautiful Community Quilt or 49 other prizes, kindly donated by local businesses and individuals, to support the Discovery Centre Appeal. Over 5,000 tickets had been sold, and each person whose name was drawn out will be contacted in order, and offered their choice of raffle prize.
The Rye Harbour Discovery Centre is a joint project between Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, and is due to open late summer 2020. It will transform people’s engagement with the special natural environment and wider heritage of the nature reserve and will be a fantastic resource for thousands of visitors.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Discovery Centre can request a monthly newsletter to keep them posted about build news, sightings of some of the outstanding wildlife at the reserve, and ways to donate to the Appeal. ryeharbourdiscoverycentre.org.uk