February fun at harbour

Lucy, Natasha and Jill of the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve Communities Team sum up the brilliant week.

February is a busy time for wildlife at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve; the winter resident birds start to leave for their breeding grounds further north and some of the summer breeders may busy themselves with courtship displays. Plants are also springing to life as leaf buds unfurl and we start to see some of the first flowers.

It can also be a busy time for people, and last week’s half term was exceptionally busy for our communities team at Rye Harbour. We launched our new activity trail leaflets to encourage self-led exploration of the mosaic of habitats found here, finding out about our special wildlife and becoming more connected to nature which, in turn, leads to a desire to protect it for future generations.

We also led events for children and families throughout the week; nearly 100 families with over 170 children were provided with a chance to get up close to nature and create something of their own to help look after wildlife at home.

On Microscope Monday we encouraged people of all ages to take a closer look at some insects and plants to shouts of “This is incredible, you must look at this!”and “WOW!!!” from visiting children, and “This is wonderful, thank you so much for doing this, we’ve learned such a lot” from their parents, to “Eeeurrgghh!” as we investigated flesh flies, moth wings and eyes of a cricket.

We took a Wild Weather Walk and tried out the new play trail with fun and games on the beach; explored the saltmarsh, finding shore crabs, sandhoppers, curlew and pintail; making willow bird feeders and baskets for nesting material using natural products sourced from the habitat conservation works around the nature reserve. Weaving in their own stories, the children created Valentine’s hearts and dreamcatchers to remember the species they discovered and different ways to make a safe home for them for the future.

Feedback from families included:
“Just got back from spending pretty much the whole day Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. We did the kids’ half term weaving event. Had the best day!! The kids loved making nesting baskets, bird feeders and being in the gorgeous fresh air. Thank you so much!”
“Completely agree, we had the best time, thoroughly enjoyed our activities. Can’t rate the staff and venue enough, so welcoming. The sunshine helped a lot, too!”

A big thank you to everyone that came along and joined in the fun.

Image Credits: Natasha Sharma .

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  1. Well done Lucy and team. It’s so lovely to get the children out looking at nature away from the distraction of computers! Some years back I used to take my niece Abi to various activities and we both used to have such fun! Rye Reserve is such a special place.


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