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Wild Rye: Discover Our Wetland Wildlife

Bittern in Winter


East Sussex County Council has been very successful in gaining additional external funding through the European Community European Regional Development Fund called Interreg.

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Two Bays - One Environment. A shared biodiversity with a common focus.

The Nature Reserve was a major partner in a wildlife project covering Rye Bay and Baie de Somme. The wildlife of Sussex does not and cannot survive in isolation, nearly all of "our" species have a distribution that extends to neighbouring counties and countries. So it is important that we try to look at a wider perspective when we consider "our" wildlife. We have a clear picture of the British distribution, status and management of many species, but the situation in neighbouring Europe is often unclear. The project was completed at the end of 2001, but we hope to maintain the established links and develop other projects.

The project encompassed two areas, one in East Sussex and the other in Picardy, France. The Sussex area is Rye Bay, located in the south eastern corner of the county. It occupies the river valleys and the coast around the Cinque Port town of Rye and corresponds to the East Sussex part of English Natures "Romney Marshes Natural Area". Rye Bay has many regional, national and international designations of wildlife interest. Across the channel the French area is the Baie de Somme in Picardy which lies just 90km to the south east of Rye and has similar wildlife designations. There are common habitats in the TWO BAYS including shingle, sand dunes, saltmarsh, brackish and freshwater wetlands including reedbeds, grazing marsh and woodland. Consequently there is a considerable overlap of species in the TWO BAYS.

For more detail see the reports here.

The Nature Reserve is also involved with several other Interreg projects.