Saltmarsh listed as award finalist

Golden plover on the new saltmarsh
Golden plover on the new saltmarsh

Conservationists in Rye are ‘delighted’ after being named as finalists in the Sussex Countryside Awards.

Rye Harbour’s saltmarsh has been shortlisted in the New Sussex Landscapes category of the awards, organised by the Sussex branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

The recreation of the saltmarsh was a partnership between Sussex Wildlife Trust, The Environment Agency and the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, under the management of Dr Barry Yates.

Dr Yates said: “Sussex Wildlife Trust is delighted to have reached the finals of the CPRE Sussex Countryside Awards with its work at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve to re-create saltmarsh habitat in conjunction with the Environment Agency’s sea defence improvements.

“This project has improved the habitat for wildlife that is scarce in Sussex and also created a much better visitor experience all year round with easy access paths and birdwatching hides.”

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is one of the most important conservation areas in Britain, and one of the most popular. In August 2011 the sea was allowed to flow back into the area, creating further saltmarsh, saline lagoons, grazing marsh and reed-bed habitats.

It is now the most biodiverse reserve in Sussex with a species list exceeding 4,300, more than 200 of which are considered nationally rare.

Ostler’s Field in Brede has also reached the final in the Making Places Design category which recognises design excellence in sustainable construction.

Hastoe Housing built 13 affordable homes at the site, made more inexpensive to live in by their energy-saving features.

The Sussex Countryside Awards celebrate communities, businesses, organisations, schools and individuals actively working to conserve or enhance the natural environment.

Winners will be announced at the invite-only awards ceremony at Petworth House on Wednesday, October 11.

Visit www.cpresussex.org.uk for more information.