How to make the best of family trips to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

How to make the best of family trips to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve
Rye Harbour Nature Reserve (c) Lucy Bowyer

We speak to Learning and Engagement Officer Lucy Bowyer about how to make the best of your family trip to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve this summer

What events are going on for families?

We've got all sorts! Wild Woodland Holiday Club, Minibeasts, Rockpool Ramble, Beach Art and Craft, Pond Dipping, Wildlife Watch, Mud, Glorious Mud, plus various Nature Treasure Trails. See here for more information and booking details where relevant. 

What if there's bad weather? 

Events go ahead anyway, unless it's dangerous, for example, in the case of lightning.

What if we've got siblings of differing ages?

I'd suggest that you email and check, [email protected] To some extent it depends on the activity, but we can advise you.

Have you got any Top Tips for people visiting Rye Harbour Nature Reserve with young children this summer?

  • Go to the loos by the carpark before your visit - until our new Discovery Centre is built (should be open by Easter 2020), there are currently no toilets on the reserve
  • Wear sunhats and bring layers - it can be windy here. 
  • Have suncream handy - the cool breeze can be deceptive
  • Make sure to bring drinks and snacks (again, some will be on sale on the reserve once the Discovery Centre is open next year).
  • Do drop into our Information Centre on your way past - and you can fill your water bottle with us too
  • Be aware there's a building site in the middle of the reserve - entirely enclosed, but there are sometimes trucks and vehicles coming and going 
  • There's a boardwalk alongside it, which is level with the road, and we've got information panels up, which show you some of our wildlife. Do take a look!
  • If your children are interested in nature, research the wildlife you might see here - maybe get a book from the library. We've got nature books in the Information Centre shop too, and there is lots of information on the website
  • We're a great place to bring scooters and little bikes - children can learn to ride bikes here, because of the long, flat road with very little traffic 
  • It's quite a walk to the beach, with a flat road all the way, so a buggy is wise for little ones
  • We don't have rock pools - for that, you need to go to Pett Level. They have amazing rock pools because of the submerged ancient forest. Join us for a Rockpool Ramble there

What's your favourite summer beach activity?

I love shrimping on a sunny day.

What's your favourite sea creature?

That's hard. I love them all. Maybe the Hermit Crab because you can pick up a shell thinking it's a whelk and out pops a little claw.

Common hermit crab©Paul NaylorSussex Wildlife Trust

What's your favourite flavour ice cream?

These are tough questions! I'd go for salted caramel at Di Pola's, Marine Parade, Hastings. The Avocet Gallery and Tearooms in Rye Harbour village (open Friday - Sunday only) sell tubs of Taywell gourmet ice cream, which is pretty special too.

Thanks to Paul Naylor for the Hermit Crab photo

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