Rye Harbour Reserve

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Rye Harbour Reserve: Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is a Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is a fascinating nature reserve and worth a visit, whether you want to discover the wildlife and plants or explore its history and simply experience the landscape and enjoy a walk beside the sea.

There are four bird-watching hides which overlook the pools formed from pits made during gravel mining. Each pool has islands that provide shelter and nesting sites for native and migrant birds all year round. Types of birds that are reducing in number in other parts of the country can still be seen here.

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Sussex, Home Counties, South East England, England, Great Britain, UK, Europe
Castle Water, Ternery Pool


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Castle Water

This large gravel pit was excavated between 1935 and 1970. The Sussex Wildlife Trust bought the 88 hectares in 1992 and since then the nature reserve has been making more shallow margins and new islands. There is a birdwatching hide overlooking the water near the castle and a viewpoint overlooking the reedbeds at the northern end.

Saltmarsh and Wader Pool

There is a narrow remnant of Saltmarsh habitat along the river, With a bird hide.
This is a favourite place for Redshank, especially when they are breeding and have their young. One of their favourite foods is the Corophium shrimp that lives in tunnels in the mud.

Ternery Pool

This is an old gravel pit, some of it was dug by hand. Since 1970 the nature reserve has managed it for breeding and roosting birds. Islands have been built and managed and two birdwatching hides overlook them, these are the Crittall Hide and Parkes Hide.
The most numerous birds nesting on the islands are Black-headed Gulls, Common Terns and Sandwich Terns. Oystercatchers roost at Ternery Pool all year round and they nest here.


This a large expanse of bare shingle ridges with a large saline lagoon, Ternery Pool, and small areas of saltmarsh at the eastern end.
The shingle beach is very tiring to walk on


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Address: Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, Lime Kiln Cottage, Rye Harbour Road, Rye, East Sussex TN31 7TU, UK
Phone: +44 1797 227 784
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