Community quilt offered as raffle prize to raise money for Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

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A beautiful quilt made by members of the community will be given away as a raffle prize to raise money for the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve Discovery Centre.

Three Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve – Jenny Willsher, Anne Yates and Amanda Martin – came up with the idea as a way of raising money for the centre, and to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the nature reserve.

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Jenny and Amanda are experienced needle women, and all have made quilts as fundraisers before – Jenny for the 1066 Quilters, who raise money for their local hospice, and Anne as a fundraiser for the reserve in 1985, raising an astonishing £1,800 for the nature reserve’s wader pool.

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Anyone was welcome to join in, with the idea of creating a quilt that is inspired by the nature reserve. They ended up with 30 volunteers, with an age range of eight to 80.

People could choose the design for their panel, so long as it had a connection to the nature reserve. The results include a common blue butterfly, oystercatcher, yellow-horned poppy, a yellow gravel truck, sheep, goldfinch on a teasel, seal, crab, the wind turbines, the red-roofed hut, Camber Castle and the Mary Stanford lifeboat house.

The three women then gathered the panels and sewed them together. There were a few squares left over, which will become cushions or bags, to also be given as raffle prizes.

The quilt comprises 30 panels and will comfortably cover a double bed. Anne said: “We are very pleased and proud of the project.”

The quilt will go ‘on tour’ from September, where raffle tickets will be sold for it and 49 other prizes (50 prizes for the 50th anniversary). The raffle will be drawn on March 15, 2020, which is the date of the 50th anniversary of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.

Other prizes donated so far include artwork by James Thomlinson, a box of wine from London Cru, dinner at the Brickwall Hotel, a champagne breakfast at Jeakes House, cocktails at Camber Castle, and handmade chocolates.

More about the quilt, with photos of each square, a list of who made each one and some of the prizes donated so far can be found at sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/news/rye-harbour-quilt-2020

Raffle tickets are available for £1 each, or £5 for a book of five, and can be bought at the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve information cabins, or by post to Quilt Raffle, 2 Watch Cottages, Winchelsea Beach TN36 4LU. Cheques should be payable to Sussex Wildlife Trust and senders should include an email address so the trust can send out the raffle numbers and details.

The new Discovery Centre is expected to be open before the anniversary in March 2020.