• Exciting news!

    Exciting news! We’re currently working on a new project to replace the well-used Kingfisher Hide with a more fit for purpose viewing hub.

    For over 20 years the current hide has offered visitors fantastic views of kingfishers and other wildlife – now the building is suffering from wet rot, encroachment of vegetation and showing signs of water ingress. Regular inspections suggest that the hide won’t be safe for visitors…

    • 13 Feb 2018
  • Recent Sighting 21 January 2018

    Hi All

    A first for Rye Meads over the last couple of weeks! As we have seen the formation of a large gull (Herring, lesser and greater black back etc) roost from the Gadwall hide. This has coincided with the abandonment of HMWT Amwell by the large gull roost, which as drawn in some nice rarities such as caspian gull, so fingers crossed for us.  Friday 19th evening roost consisted of 74 Great lack back, 110 Herring, 60…

    • 21 Jan 2018
  • Recent Sightings 21 January 2018

    Hi All

    A first for Rye Meads over the last couple of weeks! As we have seen the formation of a large gull (Herring, lesser and greater black back etc) roost from the Gadwall hide. This has coincided with the abandonment of HMWT Amwell by the large gull roost, which as drawn in some nice rarities such as caspian gull, so fingers crossed for us.  Friday 19th evening roost consisted of 74 Great lack back, 110 Herring, 60…

    • 21 Jan 2018
  • Friday closing in January and other news...

    Friday Closing

    Due to staff changes and recruiting and training new team members, Rye Meads will be closed on Fridays from the 1 January 2018.

    This closure will continue into February and  the end date will remain flexible until we are sure of recruitment.

    We will keep you posted on any updates and appreciate your understanding.

    Job vacancy

    We are looking for a seasonal Learning Assistant (1 March – 31 October)…

    • 16 Dec 2017
  • Exciting job opportunities at Rye Meads...

    We have not one, but two amazing job opportunities at Rye Meads!

    We are looking for a part time Learning Officer to lead our Schools on Reserves programme, which aims to give children a chance to experience nature first-hand through curriculum linked sessions. Typical activities include pond dipping, bird watching and minibeast hunting.

    We are also looking for a full time Visitor Experience Manager, who will ensure…

    • 16 Nov 2017
  • Reserve Closed Wednesday 20 September

    It is with great sadness that we have had to say goodbye to a true friend and kind man. Rye Meads will be closed on Wednesday, 20 September 2017, while we attend the funeral of Derrick Ling. A wonderful, talented, and knowledgeable man who gave so much of himself to Rye Meads, we will miss him.

    During his 40 years volunteering he was an integral part of Rye Meads, devoting time and energy, not to mention a bit of blood…

    • 13 Sep 2017
  • Update 4 September 2017

    Hi All

    A quick heads up for anyone visiting this week, the work parties will be busy around the Gadwall hide. We will be  clearing vegetation around the hide and on the islands, so there will be disturbance to the lagoon.

    Thanks for your understanding

    • 5 Sep 2017
  • Rye Meads updates...

    So August has been a month of showers, sun and lots of Kingfisher activity!  

    The first thing to mention is that from Thursday 31st August, our main reception will be moved into the classrooms in the visitor centre, while we have a refit.  We expect this diversion to take place for a few weeks - signs will be on site to direct you.  

    We also now have a card machine, so if you sometimes feel like you need to scrabble in…

    • 30 Aug 2017
  • Recent Sightings Update 7 August 2017

    We're two thirds of the way into 2017 now and the Kingfishers look determined to go for broke and squeeze in one last brood before the breeding season comes to an end. Their second brood of 5 youngsters fledged on the 27th (they already had 5 in their first brood back at the end of May, so they're doing well), and since then the adults have been seen mating repeatedly on several occasions; with a bit of luck they'll be…

    • 7 Aug 2017
  • The Big Wild (soggy) Sleepout at Rye Meads!

    A spot of rain did nothing to dampen anyone’s spirits at Rye Meads Big Wild Sleepout. The evening was filled with arts and crafts, pond dipping, mini-beasting, a late night walking safari, bat detection, marshmallow roasting and even a bit of campfire singsong. When asked to pick a personal highlight one young guest claimed “I liked everything!” It may have involved more sleeping under the rain than the stars but his…

    • 2 Aug 2017
  • Today 27 July 2017

    Hi All

    A quick update for today. The second brood of kingfishers are fledging today, 5 seen so far and they are hanging around in the trees at the nesting bank, woohooo.  Lovely stuff, the pair have already started investigating a new bank so all go for brood number 3.

    Also about this week common sandpiper, eclipse drake garganey, little ringed plover, little egret, oystercatcher, lots of juv warblers, black headed…

    • 27 Jul 2017
  • Rye Road Engineering Works

    Good Morning!

    We've been advised that there are going to be roadworks happening along part of Rye Road starting from 7 August 2017 (south west of the junction with Bosanquet Road), and that the works should take 18 months to complete. From the descitption of the county order, the works involve the replacement of an existing sewer cover.

    Alternate routes to the reserve are via Fishermans Way, Pindar Road, Essex…
    • 25 Jul 2017
  • Update 18 July 2017

    After their first lot of young fledged in June, we've been thrilled to see that our resident pair of kingfishers have successfully hatched their second brood for the year at the beginning of the month! They've been diligently taking food in and out of the nest, so hopefully we should have another large healthy group ready to fly in a couple of weeks time.

    Most of the black headed gulls and their chicks have started…

    • 18 Jul 2017
  • Update 4 June 2017

    Our kingfisher pair fledged their first brood on 30 May with 5 possibly 6 young seen emerging from the bank, success! The pair are already back to business excavating burrows and mating so we are waiting for the first change over to mark the start of incubation of the second clutch. We will keep you posted.


    The lovely weather has bought out an abundance of damsels and dragons, cygnets and goslings, bugs and critters…

    • 4 Jun 2017
  • Update 12 May 2017

    Yesterdays early wonder round revealed a greenshank on the Draper scrape along with the common sandpiper that arrived a couple days before that, nice! However later in the day we had a bit of excitement with a call from one of our regular visitors to let us know there was a wood sandpiper from the Gadwall hide, so thanks Neil for the call! I managed to nip down and get a look and a few quick digi scoped images and the…

    • 12 May 2017
  • Update 5 May 2017

    Hell All

    It's all go at Rye Meads today! 

    We have:-
    - a guided walk for a local U3A group, led by one of our able volunteers
    - the tawny owl chicks are still showing
    - a school group from Beechwood Park, studying the birds and carrying out pond dipping 
    - 19 redpoll cattle from the Essex grazing project have been released to graze the meadow for the summer
    - we have 2 greenshank! plus redshank and 3 snipe on Draper…

    • 6 May 2017
  • Kingfisher update, tawny owls and other sightings........

    Well it's been an exciting time here at the kingfisher hide over the last few weeks! The kingfishers have started to incubate their first brood and we estimate hatching between the 6th and 8th May. They become a little more elusive during incubation and may only be seen for changeovers every 3-5 hours.

    Also in one of the kestrel boxes on the pylon, we have tawny owl and owlets...the cuteness is beyond words and they…

    • 29 Apr 2017
  • Easter activities at Rye Meads

    With the Easter holidays shortly upon on why not take a visit to Rye Meads and take part in some of our fabulous family events! We have minibeast Mondays, Family bird safaris, self led pond dipping and a nature trail.

    On the 9th April, we have our Spring fun day which is going to be action packed of activities to keep the little ones busy (and the not so little ones!) Learn about nature, have a go at our trails and wildlife…

    • 25 Mar 2017
  • Bearded Tit

    A special treat this afternoon as members of the Rye Mead's Ringing Group stopped by the visitor center with 3 bearded tit! 


    These birds had been proving very elusive popping up here and there on site. But today the ringers were able to locate the birds and after some patience in to the mist net. The 2 males and 1 female were caught on the HMWT section of the reserve then processed (weighed, measured and given there…

    • 12 Feb 2017
  • 11 February 2017

    Hi All

    A light dusting of snow today but all the trails and hides are open.  Hats, gloves and scarves are needed.

    Gadwall hide over 400 lapwing this morning along with ca 12 snipe, 2 shelduck, gadwall, tufted duck, shovler, and ring necked parakeet over

    • 11 Feb 2017
  • Management work update February 2017

    Hi All

    Just a quick update to notify you of some habitat management we will be undertaking in February which will mean some access restrictions.

    Contractors will be on site from Wednesday 8 February until 16 February carrying out scrub clearance works on the lagoon banks to create a more diverse sward and enhance wildfowl nesting opportunities. This will mean there will be no access beyond the Ashby hide on Wednesday…

    • 6 Feb 2017
  • Update 19 January 2017

    Hello there!


    We have had a lovely couple days here at Rye Meads with frosty mornings and sunshine the perfect weather to carry out some habitat management.


    We are undertaking lots of fun work on our habitats ensuring we give nature an excellent home! The work party have been busy completing work on the island in front of the Gadwall hide ready for breeding common terns and black headed gull, fingers crossed we may even…

    • 19 Jan 2017
  • 29 December 2016

    It's a beautiful day here at Rye Meads. The fog that covered the site yesterday has cleared to let through some blue sky and sunshine making the frost sparkle.

    Despite the fog, yesterday's sightings were still rolling in with multiple bittern sightings (mainly from the Kingfisher hide), water rail, bullfinch, water vole and sparrowhawk reported to name a few. But today has far exceeded sightings with the bittern…

    • 29 Dec 2016
  • Wintery sightings....

    It's been an icy week here at Rye Meads - lots of pictures of birds walking on the ice, like the beautiful teal and water rail below. We still have a water pipit on site as well as our friendly Robin, Alan, just to keep the Christmassy theme.
    A water vole also made an appearance, warming up his bottom in the sunshine, whilst sitting on the ice!
    Other sightings include: fieldfare, redwing, red kite…
    • 11 Dec 2016