Volunteering | Rye Harbour Nature Reserve
Waitrose volunteers


Whether you are looking to fill a few hours once a month or make a major contribution to the work of the nature reserve, there are many ways to volunteer.

Volunteering can be an enjoyable way to meet new people, learn new skills (or show off your existing ones) and gain useful experience.

If you are interested in joining our group of more than 80 volunteers, please contact us for more information at [email protected]  or call 01797 360960. 


  • Discovery Centre Welcome & Information Volunteers - this role is at the heart of the Discovery Centre and is needed everyday in the morning and afternoons. The role involves warmly welcoming visitors to the Discovery Centre, providing information about the reserve, answering any questions about the birds and wildlife, mentioning our community activities programme and making sales in our shop.
  • Café Volunteers - to help support our busy café team with keeping Lime Kiln Café clean and tidy, serving food & drink, clearing tables and welcoming visitors to the servery and directing them to tables.
  • Practical Conservation Volunteer - to help our wardens carry out practical conservation tasks around the reserve. Work parties are carried out throughout the year, but mostly in late summer and autumn.
  • Beachwatch Volunteer - occurs from May to September and involves patrolling the reserve, giving information to the public, helping us keep the reserve tidy, leaflets stocked in hides and reporting any wildlife sightings.
  • Guide in a Hide - if you like bird watching and talking to the public this could be the role for you. Guide in a Hide volunteers are needed to help show visitors the birds from our main bird watching hides. Telescope, binoculars and guide books can be provided.
  • Education volunteers – supporting our education programme. If you enjoy working with children in an outdoor setting the reserve has many school visits, family events, Nature Tots and Wildlife Watch throughout the year.
  • Community Gardeners - ensuring the community garden space is cared for and kept presentable to the public. This will include watering the plants, planting, plant care and ground care. 
  • Visitor Survey Volunteers - to help carry out the Rye Harbour visitor experience survey to help us understand our visitors, their needs and wishes for the centre and reserve better
  • Young People’s Volunteering we hold regular opportunities for our Wildlife Rangers group of 12-16 year olds, for more information click here.

Also - The Harbour History Club - history club volunteers will reach out and work with the public in capturing oral history and collect visual memories like photographs relating to Rye Harbour and upload these onto the heritage screen unit for all visitors to see, learn from and enjoy. This will form an important intangible collection on the history of Rye Harbour. The role will also involve helping to develop local history events. 

Other volunteering opportunities include publicising the nature reserve at events such as fetes, festivals, meetings and open days; helping the staff to deliver events and education at the reserve; and making tea/coffee and selling gifts at the Friends winter lectures. Or, if you have a particular skill you would like to share, let us know – we may be able to find a use for it!

If you want to contact us by e-mail please use  [email protected]

Sign up for your newsletter

Stay connected with our monthly wildlife sightings, upcoming events and inspirational stories.

We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage, to improve your browsing experience and show personalised content. You are free to manage this via your browser settings at any time. To learn more about how we use the cookies, please see our cookies policy.