Local green initiatives

In addition to the activities listed on this website, there are a variety of other green or sustainable initiatives underway in Rye, and one of our members, Oriana, has compiled this list:

Green spaces and activities:

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve – It is clear from when you walk into Rye Harbour Nature Reserve that it is a stunning place with a strong sense of community caring about wildlife, and sharing it for all to benefit.

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve supports a huge number of species, of which 300 are rare and endangered. It has plenty of wheelchair and push-chair accessible paths, and longer circular routes for those who like to stretch their legs. There are also activities for children to join across different age groups, and a free car park (however donations will be gratefully accepted).

Such a wonderful place as this does need maintenance, whether that is in the new Discovery Centre or with a volunteer group that helps the Rangers. You can support this reserve physically, or by joining the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, contributing towards making developments to offer even better opportunities for the area and for the wildlife to flourish.

Dungeness, Fairlight, and the Panel valley reserve (a less known opportunity located between Pett and Winchelsea) are also rich areas for supporting the biodiversity of wildlife, while offering wildlife corridors.

Iden Natural History Society – The society was formed in 1919, offering a long history of locals documenting the wildlife, contributing to the national understanding of ecology. The members share mutual links with the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.

Wilder Iden – This project aims to enable nature to thrive across all sizes of land available, involving the engagement of the community in practical ways, such as planting, clearing and species recording. Visit their website here.

Rye Community Garden – The Rye Community Garden is a growing initiative. Based just off of Love Lane, the Rye Community Garden is valuable for those who want to do gardening, while also getting involved in a real community effort.  They grow fresh produce that anyone can take, and offer the opportunity for social outdoor space.  

Local Businesses:

Local Farm Shops – Locally based offering local produce, farm shops can supply you with everything from bread and milk to meals and delicacies. There are many in the area around Rye, such as Salts Farm, and in Fairlight – Stonelynx Organics and Wakehams Farm.

Tibbs FarmFor those of you looking for delicious local fruit, here is the place to go! Tibbs Farm  is the largest pick-your-own fruit farm in South East England. It also farms some Romney Sheep and has a café to offer a range of meals for everyone.

Farmers Market and Country MarketWeekly markets of local produce, offering low-production and low transport carbon-emissions – a sustainable approach to food consumption, as well as a socially active way to get your food and support locals.

Beckley has recently launched its Farmer’s Market.

Channons sell peat-free compost.

The Kind Table An eco-friendly lifestyle store which recently opened in Rye on Market Road, offering household, personal care and food-stuffs. It re-uses, recycles and refills, offering 100% biodegradable and sustainable products. Mia, who works there, has many tips about practical household sustainable living. They use glass bottles and jars from other businesses within Rye in which to sell their produce, and would love to hear from other businesses within the town who may wish to join this recycling initiative.

Jempson’s PeasmarshActively supporting local farmers, Jempson’s supermarkets in Peasmarsh and in Rye offer a variety of tasty options. However, Jempson’s Peasmarsh particularly advocates refills and recyclable packaging, which are crucial to reducing single-use plastics.

Rye Health Store – Less locally produced, but strong on the vegan and sustainable front, a useful shop in Rye for someone who is looking for refills. They offer a large range of vitamins and free-from items, helpfully based in central Rye so easily accessible to all (High Street zero-waste shopping – Rye News).

Rope Walk Arcade – Rope Walk has a range of shops, some of which increase sustainable approaches through repairs and up-cycling opportunities for clothing and computers – Rope Walk Arcade – Google Maps.

Charity Shops and Antique Shops – Rye’s range of charity, bric-a-brac and antique shops offer opportunities for sustainable re-use and up-cycling of clothing, furniture and other items.

Bicycle Hire –  This opportunity is available from near Rye Station (Rye Hire), and E-Bikes are available to buy and hire on Rye Harbour Road (Rye Bay E-bikes and Urban eBikes), offering active green transport opportunities for locals as well as tourists.

Groups and initiatives:

Rother Environmental Group Rother Environmental Group offers an entire program of green events and lectures to broaden your knowledge. It is easy to join through their website and link to a new pool of fascinating initiatives and movements that are going on in your area.

The Growing Network This new initiative is based in Beckley. It helps local people grow, share and eat fresh food, swap skills, tools, plants, and more. People can find out more by joining their Facebook page.

Sussex Greenways This initiative is aiming to make walk, ride, and cycle friendly paths more common in our local area by connecting and extending routes. They also run “Quiet Lanes”, another way of supporting our local green and active travellers.

StrandlinersEver done a beach clean?  Strandliners does that, but even more. Strandliners is dedicated to cleaning our rivers and our seas without only picking up and binning. They record all the data collected from each cleaning session to create a fact file on where the waste comes from, meaning that we have the information to stop it at source by working with partners global-wide, aiming to prevent the rubbish and pollution from getting anywhere it shouldn’t be.

These are just a few of the many opportunities which support Rye and our local villages to be more sustainable communities, and hopefully we can work together to be an eco-friendly place to live and work. 

Note: Oriana is a regular contributor to Rye News, where this article first appeared as an earlier version – Local green and sustainable initiatives – Rye News