The senior Green MEP, Keith Taylor met Dr. Barry Yates, Manager of the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, and Tony Whitbread, CEO of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, at the Harbour Road site to discuss the Rye Discovery Centre Appeal on Tuesday, May 8.
During the visit, the Green MEP for Sussex was asked officially to become a patron of the appeal, an invitation he was “delighted” to accept.
In accepting, Mr. Taylor said:
“The Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is both beautiful and ecologically vital; I am delighted to have been asked to join none other than Sir Quentin Blake as a patron of the Rye Discovery Centre Appeal. The plans to enhance the visitor experience have my full backing. And I support Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve’s public appeal for the vital extra funds needed to help them deliver their vision.”
The Rye Harbour Nature Reserve offers a unique experience to the 330,000 people who visit it every year. It is one of the largest and most important wildlife sites in England, set in an exceptional coastal and wetland landscape and home to 4,275 varieties of plants and animals including more than 200 rare or endangered species.
Mr Taylor supported the Discovery project’s successful bid for more than £900,000 worth of EU funding to help improve visitors’ understanding of the nature reserve and wider environmental and climate matters while contributing to the local economy.
EU funding for wildlife projects is one of the aspects of Brexit that the Reserve Manager, Dr. Yates, has previously accused national politicians of ignoring. He has said:
“Rye Harbour has benefited from the EU. It is designated as a Special Protection Area and a Special Area of Conservation under the EU Habitats Directive. This international level of protection has guided most of the improvements we have been able to make here during the last 20 years. This includes the reedbed creation at Castle Water which is now home to booming bitterns, pinging beaded tits and the majestic marsh harriers.
“About a third of our annual running costs come from agricultural payments and the future of these are uncertain outside the EU. We are only just beginning to realise the magnitude of possible changes.”
The Rye Discovery Centre Appeal for public donations launches on Tuesday, May 15.
Source: Discovery Centre
Photo: Discovery Centre