Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
castle water©Barry YatesSussex Wildlife Trust

Castle Water. ©Barry Yates

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve to celebrate World Wetlands Day and more!

The Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is set to mark World Wetlands Day this Sunday 2 February with two public walks around the site. In addition, the Sussex Wildlife Trust recently announced that their Nature Tots programme will return this Spring to the Reserve (and across Sussex), while also revealing that less litter is being found on Rye’s beaches. HOT’s Jordan Dixon writes.

This year will mark the 23rd annual World Wetlands Day which continues to raise awareness of the importance of protecting wetlands across the globe. Wetlands are naturally low-lying or water-fed areas of land which store and filter vast amounts of water. They provide food and a peaceful environment for 40% of the planet’s species, clean water and flood protection, and help one billion individuals make a living.

The Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is one of many internationally important and recognised wetland sites. Thanks to the efforts of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, which manages the Reserve, there has been a positive increase in bird numbers and species diversity.

The two walks marking the occasion will both take place this Sunday, 2 February. The walks are free to the public with no booking required – though donations are welcome. Attendees are recommended to bring along pack lunches.

The elusive bittern ©Barry Yates

The elusive bittern ©Barry Yates

The first walk will start and end at Rye train station, so useful for anyone coming out of town. Attendees are expected to meet at 10am and will be led by a warden for a circular walk which will take in the birdwatching hide overlooking Castle Water. This will offer the chance to witness the variety of birds thriving in the wetland, from egrets, ducks, marsh harriers and possibly even the shy bittern. There will also  be an opportunity for a quick look inside Henry VIII’s Camber Castle. The walk is expected to finish by 2pm.

The second walk will begin at 3pm and is expected to finish by 5pm. Those interested should meet at the Rye Harbour village car park at 3pm. This will be a late afternoon stroll around the salt marsh where you can witness birds feeding and roosting on the reserve. There will also be the chance to visit a couple of the site’s bird-watching hides.

For more information click here

Nature Tots go wild

Sussex Wildlife Trust have also recently announced that their Nature Tots parent and child outdoor adventure groups will return this Spring for children between ages 3-5. Led by fully trained Forest School Leaders, the groups offer the experience of learning from nature and setting children hands-on activities which will allow them to work co-operatively with others, boost their confidence, gain a sense of achievement and improve their social skills.

Nature Tots©Miles DaviesSussex Wildlife Trust

©Miles Davies

Each session is themed around wildlife and the changing seasons. Activities will vary between each location, but you can expect such pursuits as building dens, making bird-feeders, pond-dipping, mini-beast discovery, making snacks around a campfire, craft activities and treasure hunts, as well as learning about the reserve’s various animals, birds and insects.

Booking is now open for March at the following locations. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Brighton, Stanmer Park, Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays

Crawley, Tilgate Park, Thursdays

Eastbourne, Seven Sisters County Park, Wednesdays

Henfield, Woods Mill, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

Horsham, Chesworth Farm, Mondays

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, Wednesdays

To book your place or for further information click here or call 01273 497561.

Less litter on Rye’s beaches

In a final spot of good news from the Sussex Wildlife Trust this month, Barry Yates and the team are pleased to report that less litter is being found on Rye’s beaches. This is in thanks not only to their continued efforts on local beach cleans, but also more visitors are taking their litter home with them, as well as conducting their own ‘two minute beach cleans’.

The team believes that the increase in voluntary and individual efforts stems from

©MB Haas

©MB Haas

growing public awareness following David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, which highlighted the shocking effects of plastic pollution upon our oceans and marine life.

The team is always delighted by the support it has received from corporate groups and volunteers who have joined their beach cleans. But Lucy Bowyer, senior learning and engagement officer at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, states that there is still work that needs to be done.

“We do need to keep on doing it. Storms and tides wash up debris on the beach, and there are unfortunately also still a few visitors who don’t take their rubbish home,” she explains.

“We often find pieces of fishing net, rope and lots of bottle tops. Odd things too.  Sometimes we spend ages trying to identify what some things once were! Some of the five million bits of Lego that fell into the sea in 1997 are still being washed up today”.

As part of the new Discovery Rye Harbour project, the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve have begun conducting monthly family beach clean weekends, the first of which took place last Saturday.

To keep up to date with future events you can visit the Sussex Wildlife Trust website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.






Posted 16:34 Thursday, Jan 30, 2020 In: Nature

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