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Englands last line of defence

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Situated at Rye on the east coast the reserve is one of a small number of coastal SSSI (special site of scientific interest) which are interested with the preservation and protection of many of England's most threatened plants and wildlife.

The reserve has several different habitats shingle ridges, gravel pits, estary, salt marsh and meadow land. As you explore the reserve you will notice the buildings still standing from world war two. During the long uncertain days of 1944 rye bay must have been charged with anticipation and activity. Today the local people have join together once again to form the friends of rye harbour nature reserve to defend this last line of defence for flora and fourna of Britan.
With over 455 species of flowering plants listed at Rye starting with the Least lettuce with is now only recorded on one other site in Britain, the list is impressive.

    Other plants of note are -
  • Annual Beard Grass ~ polypogon monspeliensis
  • Stiff Saltmarsh Grass ~ puccinellia rupestris
  • Spiral Tasselweed ~ ruppia cirrhosa

The reserve has many plant species that can be found in the average garden such as clematis, primrose and saxifrage. The fact that these species can be found growing in such challenging conditions testifies to the adaptability of plants.

Finding the reserve is easy by following the signs for the harbour, parking can be found at the main entrance. Access is excellent for wheelchairs. You will need to rap up as the reserve is exposed to winds in the winter early spring
The best time to visit the reserve is at the end of May and June because of the displays created by the red valerian, sea kale and yellow horned poppy







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