Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.May 2021.

We visited Rye nature reserve on the Sussex coast on a blustery day. One of the best things about nature reserves is that generally speaking there is free parking. Asking for a donation is a better way of collecting a charge.

As we walked up the path, we could see the new Discovery Centre which was closed for staff training (necessary but very disappointing).

Opposite the centre you could see the salt marsh had attracted a number of Avocets fishing for prey.

Avocets move their head from side to side forraging through touch when there is no water. We were able to get closer to the birds as we walked on.

The pathway to the beach is peppered with small huts and land defences, a reminder to everyone about the danger we faced during World War II. As you get closer to the beach you are aware that above your head is the “peeping “of the Oyster catchers returning from the beach with cockles and muscles.

The hides on the reserve were now open at last after Covid rules were relaxed. It felt good to be out of the wind.There was plenty of room at the Gooders Hide with great views over the salt marsh.Once again there were avocets and one or two common ringed plovers.

To the left of the pathway leading to the beach are Camber sands and dunes.The shingle close to the inlet is steep and deep and makes for difficult walking if your of a certain age.

At this point we decided to take the shorter route back to Rye Harbour towards Ternery pool. As you can see from the map above there are other walks. On the way around we saw the acrobatic common tern above our heads and close up views of a beautiful Oyster catcher.

We turned right onto the nearest pathway back to the car park where we came across another hide, the Parkes and Denny hides (a description of which can be seen below).

Plenty to see at this hide overlooking salt water lagoons dotted with islands ,perfect for nesting and roosting birds. Many of these belowwere seen.

Once back at the carpark we needed some suitable refreshment and we chose to visit The William the Conquerer public house and Greek restaurant.

There was a warm welcome from the people inside and the pub is dog friendly. However the food we had was a little too greasy for our liking with soggy chips and greasy batter which I didn’t eat. The bitter was great though! I like to mark out of 5. Service and atmosphere I will give 4/5.The fish and chips faired much worse at 2/5 and at £13 a head for food not worth the money.

Nevertheless a great morning and if you could sit outside on a warm day it would be great.

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