Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Rye, United Kingdom | C.1970

Photo Credit: @vani.ric

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve abounds with wildlife and history. More than 4,000 species of animals roam the area, 300 of which are considered rare or endangered in Britain. Located some 3.2 km (2 mi) downstream from the town of Rye, the reserve also includes the ruins of Henry VIII’s Camber Castle. 

Established in 1970, the Reserve consists of 465 hectares (1149 acres) of low-lying, reclaimed wild land with a variety of habitats including inter-tidal, salt marsh, drainage ditches, shingle ridges, sand, marsh, pits, scrub, and woodland. A network of footpaths grants access to much of the reserve from points in Rye Town, Winchelsea Beach, and Rye Harbour. 

Pictured here is Norton’s cabin, sometimes known as “Uncle’s Shed.” The origins of the cabin are a bit of a mystery, but locals say the hut belongs to the Norton family and that shrimpers have been using it for over 100 years. The distinctive building is extremely popular with photographers.

Henry VIII’s Castle Camber lies within the nature reserve between Rye and Winchelsea. At the time of its construction in the 16th century, it was a strategic location for protecting the Sussex coast from French attack. Thanks to structural work by the English Heritage organization, the castle is occasionally open to the public, and footpaths allow visitors to visit the outside any day.

This year, a Discovery Centre is being built on the Nature Reserve. This is a new visitor centre, and is a joint project between Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.

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