Wetlands are enormously important. They help provide clean water, flood protection, provide food, capture carbon, promote biodiversity and provide an environment for quiet relaxation.
So what exactly are wetlands?
They are naturally low lying or water-fed areas of land which help store and filter huge amounts of water. In doing so, they enable wildlife to better cope with climate change.
Sussex Wildlife Trust has been working hard at improving the wetlands at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, an internationally important Ramsar wetland site, and this has resulted in a positive impact on bird numbers and species diversity.
So why not come along for one of two walks taking place at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve to celebrate World Wetlands Day on Sunday, 2nd February?
The first walk offers an ideal opportunity to come to Rye using public transport, because it starts and ends at Rye train station.
You will head out for a circular walk with one of the wardens, who will take you to the birdwatching hide overlooking Castle Water. With any luck, you will get the chance to see waders, Egrets, Ducks, Marsh Harrier and possibly even the shy Bittern. There will also be the chance for a quick look inside Henry VIII's Camber Castle.
Redshank by Roger Wilmshurst
The meeting point is Rye station, 10am. No booking required, and it's free, but donations are appreciated. Please bring a packed lunch. The walk should finish by 2pm.
Those interested in going on the second walk should meet at Rye Harbour village car park at 3pm, also on Sunday 2nd February. This will be a late afternoon stroll around the saltmarsh, looking at wetland birds as they feed and roost on the nature reserve.
The walk will include a visit to a couple of our birdwatching hides. No booking required, and again free, but donations are appreciated. The walk should finish at 5pm.
Note: The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, named ‘Ramsar’ after the Iranian city where the treaty was signed in 1971
More about World Wetlands Day