On Sussex Day, a lovely sunny Wednesday, the Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex, Peter Field, and his wife Margaret, came to visit Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, to see the wildlife and visit the newly opened Discovery Centre. Peter is due to retire from this role in August
Lord-Lieutenants are appointed by the Sovereign on the recommendation of the Prime Minister to represent Her Majesty the Queen in a given county.
Sir Peter and Lady Field were greeted by Barry Yates, Reserve Manager of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, Tor Lawrence, CEO of Sussex Wildlife Trust and Liz Grant, Manager of the Discovery Centre, and enjoyed refreshments in Lime Kiln Café, followed by a tour of the Discovery Centre and its educational facilities. Barry then took the group on a walk around the nature reserve, with Barry explaining how the reserve manages the shingle, saltmarsh, saline lagoons, coastal grazing marsh, freshwater gravel pits and reedbed habitats. He mentioned the many wildlife successes of the reserve, such as the recent discovery of caterpillars of the Sussex Emerald moth, confirming that this rare moth is now breeding in Sussex for the first time.
Then the group returned to the Discovery Centre to enjoy lunch in the café.
Sir Peter and Lady Field thanked Barry, Tor and Liz for such an interesting and informative visit:
We caught up with the Lord-Lieutenant after his visit and asked him a few questions:
Thank you for coming. We hope you enjoyed your visit
I have watched from afar the development of the Discovery Centre from its conception, planning and final construction, but it was not until we visited that I realised what a stunning facility has been created in this beautiful part of our county. A facility that will ensure so many visitors, both from within the county and far away can learn all about Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and enjoy the tranquillity and wildlife at this unique place.
My thanks and admiration go out to the dedicated team that created the centre and those that now run both the centre and look after and protect the wildlife at such an important part of our coastline.
We understand you're stepping down from your role this year?
Yes I am. Lord-Lieutenants retire on their 75th birthday – mine is August 17 this year. Andrew Blackman of Fairlight has been appointed to succeed me.
What have you most enjoyed during your many years’ service?
All of the lovely people I have met. It has been a real privilege.
Have there been any surprises?!
One or two, but I find a calm approach usually suggests how I should handle them.
Of the many causes you support and projects you’re involved in, of what are you most proud?
Interesting one – hard to answer. Probably bringing joy to so many people in the county whether it be through royal visits, queens awards, investitures etc at one end, through to visiting small groups to thank them for their commitment and contribution. Saying thank you as Her Majesty’s personal representative means a lot to so many people.
To find out more about Sir Peter and the role of the Lord-Lieutenant,see here
This post is also available on Sussex Wildlife Trust website