Nature Babies and more - Lucy Bowyer talks about 2020 events at Rye Harbour

07 February 2020 | Posted in Project
Nature Babies and more - Lucy Bowyer talks about 2020 events at Rye Harbour
Lucy Bowyer (c) Poppy Rampling

Congratulations on becoming Senior Learning and Engagement Officer at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. What other positions are to be filled, when the Discovery Centre opens?


We're pleased to say, we will be recruiting two further Learning and Engagement Officers this year.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) money will significantly increase your education activities over the next three years. Tell us more about that.

We will deliver a significantly larger programme of events, as well as:

  • volunteer opportunities
  • community engagement through arts
  • training (with Plumpton College)
  • formal school work (with local primary and secondary schools) including a Wild Beach programme, work experience placements, outreach work, school awards in STEM subjects and CPD for teachers

Also, there will be Sussex Military History walks and talks, also Lottery funded, led by Peter Hibbs and Stewart Angell, as well as a series of heritage talks, a history club, and outreach talks to local groups, including isolated and elderly people.

Give us some examples of new events...

A Bioblitz, to coincide with 30 Days Wild in June, where experts will be posted in different places around the reserve, to show visitors what’s there, but also recording as many species as possible. For example, a bee expert may be on the bank, showing people bees, someone else will be on the beach, explaining what’s on the shore, and so on.

We've already started monthly weekend Beach Cleans, for families.

What difference will having the Discovery Centre as a resource make to your activities?

It will give us a base for school visits. There will be facilities for the public's comfort in terms of toilets and shelter in inclement weather. 

It will be a focal point, allowing us to engage with a wider audience. 

A visitor who comes for a cup of tea may also receive a wildlife/conservation message.

Are you hoping to attract new kinds of people?

Yes, many of the NLHF events are aimed at increasing the local audience, families who live in the village and area. Specifically creative sessions with local groups such as Encompass Rye and Dementia Alliance.

Remy RHNR Fab 2020 (c) Abby Chicken

Tell us more about Nature Babies 

We are currently offering three separate, free taster sessions to gauge interest and to evaluate how the sessions run. After that, our plan is to run weekly sessions in term time from June 2020 onwards.

Our taster days are on Wednesdays:

22 April

6 May

20 May

Free sessions will be filled on a first come, first served basis; initially we will offer one free taster session, but will put your name down in reserve for further free sessions if spaces are still available.

The idea of Nature Babies is for babies (and their carer) to have regular contact with the natural environment – evidence shows that this boosts healthy development, supports physical and mental health and wellbeing, and instils abilities to risk assess as they grow. For the carer, the group will hopefully bring new friendships and support in addition to the positive impact on health and mental wellbeing.

The sessions will run for one hour; we will go for a walk (so bring slings/carriers/buggies), looking at what wildlife is around, and there will be sensory activities for the little ones, plus stories and singing.

Regular sessions will start up in June and will cost £3, but half-price vouchers will be available through children’s centres, parenting programmes, etc.

Weekly sessions will be themed around wildlife and the changing seasons. Suitable for babies aged 3 months–18 months.

Booking is essential.

To book a place, please contact

For more information about this and other events at Rye Harbour in 2020, see here.

Supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund

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