• Christmas and New Year Opening times

    Hello everyone

    We have changed our usual festive period opening times this year and will be closed 24 December  but open again on 1 January 2020 ready for the new year!

    We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

    from all the Rye Meads team

    Plenty of things to look forward to in 2020

    • our new Kingfisher Viewing Hub
    • what exciting moths will be in the trap
    • 3 dates for…
    • 22 Dec 2019
  • December Sightings - Highlights

    December kicked off good sightings of the Bittern from the Gadwall Hide which became less frequent throughout the month until the beginning of this week when it reappeared. We have also had good sightings of Water Rail, Kingfisher, Green Sandpiper and Goldcrest.

    Raptors made a nice appearance this month with the usual host of species seen (Kestrel, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Red Kite) plus Peregrine and a Marsh Harrier towards…

    • 20 Dec 2019
  • Exciting new internship at Rye Meads

    Looking to get some quality experience with Europe’s largest conservation charity, engaging with children and delivering environmental education? 

    Fancy spending 6 months in a fantastic place, with fantastic people – seeing things you’d never normally see?  Are you a recent graduate or just changing careers and need to gain practical experience in this competitive arena?

    We have a volunteer internship…

    • 6 Dec 2019
  • November Sighting at RSPB Rye Meads

    November kicked off with our first Bittern sighting of winter from the Gadwall Hide. The Bittern has been frequently sighted throughout the month although refused to put in an appearance for our monthly Bittern Roost Watch!

    Kingfishers were spotted from the Gadwall and Draper Hides as they continue to maintain their territory. We’ve had frequent reports of our winter visitors: Redwings and Fieldfare. Green Sandpiper,…

    • 29 Nov 2019
  • Kingfisher Viewing Hub - November Update

    Back in September we announced the fantastic news that the Kingfisher Viewing Hub project would be going ahead.

    We closed the Kingfisher Loop at the beginning of October and this closure will be in place until the new Hub is up and running in March 2020 - just in time for the Kingfisher breeding season.

    So, what's been happening in the meantime?

    Our dedicated team of habitat management volunteers have been clearing…

    • 29 Nov 2019
  • Sightings update 10 Nov 2019

    Hi All

    Just a quick update on recent sightings.

    First off a bittern, first of the winter, was seen on Friday (8/11) from the Gadwall hide, the heavy fog and rain Saturday were not conducive to further sightings but the bright sunshine this morning was a reward in its self but also multiple sightings of the bittern first seen flying over the meadow  towards the reserve and then visible from Gadwall hide on and off through…

    • 10 Nov 2019
  • October Sightings at RSPB Rye Meads

    October Sightings

    As we head into the last month of Autumn, we’re looking back on the sightings from a mild and wet October.

    Kingfisher’s were seen frequently from the Gadwall and Draper Hides despite the closure of the Kingfisher Loop (until March 2020) with a pair sighted together in the middle of the month. Stonechat, Green Sandpiper, Chiffchaff, Grey Wagtail, Cetti’s all put in consistent appearances throughout…

    • 5 Nov 2019
  • End Of the World Today!

    Join us for the End of the World family fun day today, we have bush craft demonstrations (learn about the history of fire and try out techniques to start fires), nature art, pond dipping, face painting, and the End of the World Trail. 

    The End of the World Day trail is £2 each and continues until Sunday 3 November, so do come along.

    • 31 Oct 2019
  • Kingfisher Viewing Hub Update

    Hello Everyone,

    Since our last communication the project team have been working hard behind the scenes and awaiting decisions on planning and funding.

    We are very excited to share with you the great news… the Kingfisher Viewing Hub is a go!!!

    In August our planning permission was approved, and we have been successful in another funding bid. This has allowed us to progress the project this winter.  We are continuing…

    • 27 Sep 2019
  • 50 Years of Local Groups

    We are hosting an event this Sunday 29 September 2019, 10am -4pm, to mark 50 years of RSPB Local Groups 

    4 Local Groups are taking part: South East Hertfordshire, North East & North West London and Potters Bar and Barnet.

    So come along and meet your local group! Find out what they do, the groups history, view some memorabilia and much more.

    In celebration of this anniversary there will be lots of fun filled activities…

    • 26 Sep 2019
  • September at Rye Meads: expect the unexpected and August Sightings

    September at Rye Meads: expect the unexpected

    As the mornings become cooler and the days shorten, wildlife is leaning towards the Autumn months as the few remaining swallows, swifts and house martins begin their long journey to their wintering grounds in Africa. Wigeon, Teal and Shoveller can be seen dabbling on the lagoons and their numbers will grow as we head towards the winter months.

    Starlings are clustered on wires…

    • 13 Sep 2019
  • August update

    Its a beautiful bank holiday weekend with great weather and plenty to see and do here at Rye Meads.

    Steve Kershaw is on site with his wildlife art and demonstration, family activities, a elephant hawk moth caterpillar was found walking the path this morning so we have popped him in a display tank on reception for the day if you would like a look.

    The third brood of kingfishers are due to fledge 24-26 august so we are…

    • 25 Aug 2019
  • VIP Kingfisher mornings 13 & 14 July

    Great News the second brood of kingfishers hatched on Saturday, so we now have 24-26 days of increasing activity before fledging around 15-17 July.

    Therefore we have been able to set 2 more dates for our VIP Kingfisher mornings, these are Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 July 2019, 6.30am-9am, only 8 places available each day, members only, please call 01992 708383 to book your space. £17 per person

    • 26 Jun 2019
  • May Half Term Activities 25 May - 2 June 2019

    Come and join us for some family fun during half term.

    We have an exciting migration trail where you can take part in the epic migration with Sunny the swallow and friends all the way from South Africa back to the UK to breed, face all the challenges and see how well you do, then help us build a nest ready to rear some young. 

    We also have the ever popular pond dipping kits for hire, who knows what you may find in the…

    • 25 May 2019
  • Sightings Update 25 May 2019

    Cuckoos have been showing really well, with at least 2 males and a female on site.  There have been a couple of fights between 2 males, favourite perch seen from the Draper hide large tree to left but  also spotted around site at Ashby, Kingfisher and Warbler hides as well, fingers crossed we may get views of a youngster.

    The kestrels are incubating in the box on the pylon outside the visitor centre, so we are looking forward…

    • 25 May 2019
  • Kingfisher Saga 2019

    Well it has been a bit of a topsy turvy week for our kingfishers.  

    Fledging was expected 14-16 May after 24-26 days of being fed increasing larger fish and putting great demands on both parents.  Well so far there has been no sign of fledging! 

    Last Saturday 11 May we ran our first VIP kingfisher morning of the season and both adults were seen, however very soon after that the male seemed to disappear! We time our VIP mornings…

    • 17 May 2019
  • Join us for Nestbox Watch Saturday 18 May 2019

    Nestbox watch

    Would you like to see some baby birds in the hand? Join members of the Rye Meads Ringing Group as they monitor and ring the birds breeding in the nest boxes around the reserve.

    We have a variety of boxes around site offering nesting sites for little, tawny and barn owls, kestrels, blue and great tits, house sparrow and stock doves, however these species don’t always take up residence, so you may find other…

    • 14 May 2019
  • Update 20 April 2019

    The kingfishers have hatched their first brood of 2019.

    Today, we received 2 reports of small fish going in to the bank and 1 of something white being dropped just outside the bank (probably egg shell). The pair were very active yesterday with change overs occurring every couple of hours so the signs were looking good and smack in the middle of our estimated time frame of 19-21 April.

    The kingfishers now have 24-26 days…

    • 20 Apr 2019
  • Incubation begins and other sightings

    Great News, 2 changeovers have been sen today at the kingfisher bank! The first was at roughly 11.50 and the next almost exactly 2 hours later at 1.50.  Incubation lasts 19-21 days so we would expect hatching around 19-21 April.  An early start to the season but looks good for another successful year.

    The last week or so has provided some nice surprises as spring migration kicks in, a common crane fly over on the 23 March…

    • 31 Mar 2019
  • The muddy side of Science: over 300 children experience outdoor learning during British Science week at RSPB reserve Rye Meads.

    Last week was British Science Week: a celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. Here at RSPB Rye Meads in Hertfordshire, we were keen to show that science happens everywhere and doesn’t just happen in laboratories by people in white coats. Students from Wormley Primary School in Hertfordshire found that science can be done in a pond, on a path and even from a bird hide! The school, who had chosen the…

    • 22 Mar 2019
  • Introducing the Kingfisher Viewing Hub


    In early 2018 we asked you to fill out questionnaires, vote for your favourite feature and share your ideas with us on what the new structure should look like – thanks!

     The project team analysed the feedback you gave us and used it to create a design brief to help us select a contractor. The team have since been working closely with Gilleards (the successful contractor) and we are excited to share with you…

    • 19 Mar 2019
  • Science Week at Rye Meads 11 - 15 March 2019

    Science week is a celebration of science, engineering and maths and we are very much looking forward to inspiring over 300 pupils next week. (https://www.britishscienceweek.org/)

    As part of these celebrations a local school will be bringing all their year 1 to year 6 classes to the reserve on Tuesday 12, Wednesday 13 and Friday 15 March.  They will be learning all about birds; using binoculars to help identify and observe…

    • 9 Mar 2019
  • Road Closure 1/10/18

      A section of Rye Road is closed, there is no access to the reserve from Hoddesdon end of Rye Road, please use the Stanstead Abbotts end of Rye Road to visit today. We are currently looking for more information and we will let you know. Thankyou


    These roadworks are due to continue until 20 October. During this period of closure we will still be open and  the reserve can be accessed from the other end of Rye…

    • 1 Oct 2018
  • 1 September 2018

    It is a beautiful autumn day today, with clear blue skies, sunshine and a heavy dew early on.  The event this morning with the Rye Meads Ringing Group  was well attended and everyone was rewarded with lovely sightings in the hand of a variety of warblers including sedge, reed, blackcap, lesser whitethroat, and chiffchaff, plus coot with its fabulous feet, robin, dunnock and great tit. 


    The final brood of kingfishers…

    • 1 Sep 2018
  • Ringed Bittern seen from Warbler Hide

    Great news!
    A ringed Bittern was seen today from the Warbler Hide at Rye Meads!
    Could this be the Bittern released on to the reserve in 2016 and recently sighted at Lakenheath Fen in July this year (https://bit.ly/2MivTVC)?
    The challenge now is to get a clear photo of the ring so we can make an accurate identification.
    Photos taken by Colin Tanner.

    • 14 Aug 2018