On a lovely sunny Wednesday morning this week, the High Sheriff of East Sussex, Violet Hancock, came to visit Rye Harbour Nature Reserve to see the wildlife and hear about the Discovery Centre project.
The High Sheriff is an annually appointed, ceremonial role, with the appointee theoretically the Queen’s judicial representative.
Accompanied by husband Tim, the High Sheriff was greeted by Barry Yates, Reserve Manager of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, Tor Lawrence, CEO of Sussex Wildlife Trust and Cliff Dean, Chair of the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. After Barry gave a potted history of the reserve and the reasons behind the Discovery Centre project, everyone enjoyed refreshments in the Information Cabin, and Mrs Hancock mentioned a particular interest in wetland habitats.
The group walked to the Discovery Centre site to see progress on the build, then were taken on a Land Rover tour of the nature reserve, with Barry explaining how the reserve manages the shingle, saltmarsh, saline lagoons, coastal grazing marsh, freshwater gravel pits and reedbed habitats. He mentioned the many wildlife successes of the reserve, such as the reintroduction of the previously extinct stinking hawksbeard, as well as some of the challenges.
The tour ended in the Denny Hide, where the High Sheriff enjoyed the opportunity to use binoculars to observe a little grebe feeding, as well as some of other wildlife that thrives on the saltwater lagoon.
The High Sheriff and her husband thanked Barry for such an interesting and informative morning, before moving on to their next appointment.
The Discovery Centre is a joint project between Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. It will transform people’s engagement with the special natural environment and wider heritage of the nature reserve and will be a resource for thousands of visitors.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Discovery Centre can request a monthly newsletter to keep them posted about build news, sightings of some of the outstanding wildlife at the reserve, and ways to donate to the Appeal.
The Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is a charity whose 2,000 members support the Nature Reserve’s work through subscriptions and volunteering. Since 1973, it has part-funded the cost of staff, land purchase, large-scale habitat creation, tools, vehicles and visitor facilities such as bird watching hides and information centres. It provides events for its members throughout the year.
Image Credits: Emma Chaplin .