Education programmes

Explore the Shore

(full day)

Key stage 1 & 2

An opportunity to explore the shoreline of either Rye Harbour or Pett Level:

At Rye Harbour children can use nets to go ‘shrimping’ in the shallow water at low tide, finding shrimps, prawns, flatfish and crabs; they will go beachcombing along the strandline to see what the tide has washed up, make ‘postcards from the sea’ to take home with them, and get creative with some Andy Goldsworthy-inspired pebble art.

At Pett Level there is also the opportunity to go rock pooling at low tide.

Please note that shrimping and rock pooling are subject to the suitability of the tides.


Castle Water Safari

(full day)

Key stage 2

This activity takes place in the area of the nature reserve known as Castle Farm, a sheep farm with grazing marsh and a network of ditches. Within Castle Farm there is a large wetland - Castle Water - that was previously used for gravel extraction, and the remains of Camber Castle, one of Henry VIII’s fortifications. Groups can be met in Rye, Winchelsea Beach or Rye Harbour, and go for a walk around Castle Farm, enjoying a series of activities along the way discovering more about the specialised wildlife making its home here. Activities will include pond dipping and birdwatching using binoculars and field guides, and there will be an opportunity to go inside Camber Castle.


Brilliant Birds

(half day)

Key stage 1 & 2

Using binoculars children will observe birds from a bird hide. They will use identification guides and keys to identify a variety of birds and observe and record their behaviour. They will learn about the life cycles of birds and look at their feeding relationships and how the different birds are adapted to their environment.


Glorious Mud

(half day)

Key stage 1 & 2

An investigation of a saltmarsh habitat, exploring the muddy creeks left by the high tides and using keys to identify the plants and animals found here. Pupils will find out how the wildlife is adapted to live in the saltmarsh, and look at food chains within this habitat.

Please note that this activity is subject to the suitability of the tides.


Roots and Shoots

(half day)

Key stage 1 & 2

This activity is all about plants: looking specifically at shingle plants we will look at the parts of a plant, plant life cycles, seed dispersal and plant adaptations, particularly how shingle plants cope with the harsh windy, salty and dry conditions.


Wild about Art

(half day)

Key stage 1 & 2

This programme gives pupils the chance to go on a sensory exploration around the nature reserve, gaining inspiration for some creative artwork to follow-up with at school. Activities are seasonal due to the availability of natural materials but may include the following:

  • Sky walking
  • Pebble pictures
  • Texture challenge
  • Catch a rainbow