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 5 birdwatching hides accessible to wheelchairs.


Introductory Leaflet - download with map by clicking here.

Events and Guided Walks - download our What's On 2017 leaflet by clicking here.

Common Winter Birds Leaflet - download by clicking here.

For more downloads see out section Publications and Reports.


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News from Rye Harbour

    • Patchwork Challenge

      Patchwork Challenge

      ​PWC is a friendly competition between patch birders which has been running since 2013.

    • February 2017: Rye Harbour Nature Reserve Sightings

      February 2017: Rye Harbour Nature Reserve Sightings

      One of the bird highlights during February was a hen harrier which was seen at Castle Water on the 3rd. This species is a mainly winter visitor to the reserve, the summer being spent in its upland breeding habitat.

    • January 2017: Rye Harbour Nature Reserve Sightings

      January 2017: Rye Harbour Nature Reserve Sightings

      Shoveler is a common winter bird at Rye Harbour and perhaps one of our most important species, often occurring in nationally significant numbers (the UK threshold of importance for this species is 148).

    Read more