Rye Harbour

Discover our wildlife in a mosaic of coastal habitats - shingle, saltmarsh, saline lagoons, coastal grazing marsh, freshwater gravel pits and reedbeds. Explore its changing coastline and military history, or simply enjoy a walk beside the sea.

We were voted Britain’s favourite nature reserve in 2016 in the third annual LandLove Magazine Awards - see more here. One of the most important conservation sites in Britain, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve has been recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area for birds under the EU Birds Directive, a Special Area of Conservation under the EU Habitats Directive and a Ramsar site that takes account of its importance as a wetland on an international scale (click here for details).

Enjoy our amazing wildlife along many miles of path with five birdwatching hides accessible to wheelchairs and mobility scooters.


Try visiting us using public transport (click here for details) and perhaps bring a bike to explore the whole reserve and wider area.

Please use the local food outlets (click here for details) to support our local businesses.

Plan a stay in the area and discover other wildlife sites (click here for details)


Introductory Leaflet with map - download by clicking here.

Events and Guided Walks - download our What's On 2018 leaflet by clicking here.

Coastal Flowers at Rye Harbour - download by clicking here.

Common Summer Birds at Rye Harbour Leaflet - download by clicking here.

Common Winter Birds at Rye Harbour Leaflet - download by clicking here.

For more downloads see out section Publications and Reports.


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News from Rye Harbour

    • Management for Bumblebees at Rye Harbour

      Management for Bumblebees at Rye Harbour

      Over the last five years we have been managing some of our grassland for bumblebees, and every year between May and August we have also been counting the bees to monitor the effects.

    • A Bike* of Bees

      A Bike* of Bees

      At Rye Harbour, there are two quite similar species of ‘autumn colletes’ active at the moment, ivy bee (Colletes hederae) and sea-aster bee (Colletes halophilus), also known as saltmarsh bee

    • Old Photos

      Old Photos

      Old photographs of the Sussex countryside can sometimes tell a good story. This one from 1947…

    Read more