A large ancient flood meadow that attracts vast numbers of a wide variety of birds, as well as numerous other animals and plant life.

The seasonal flooding of the meadow combined with the rich soils has resulted in a mosaic of habitats, consisting of reedbeds, marshy grasslands and fen vegetation. A fantastic reserve for birdwatching, Rye Meads also has many invertebrates, as well as frogs, toads, newts and grass snakes, which find shelter here. Konik ponies are used to graze the site.


We use konik ponies to keep our grassland at Rye Meads in good condition for wildflowers and a whole host of other wildlife. Help us to continue our vital grazing programme by sponsoring one of our living lawnmowers!


Get involved

If you are interested in volunteering at this site please click here to see if there are any volunteering opportunities coming up in the future.


Download Lee Valley leaflet

Nearby nature reserves

2 miles - Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust
Hunsdon and Eastwick Meads
2 miles - Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust
Hunsdon Mead Nature Reserve
2 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Rye Road
SG12 8JS
Map reference
TL 389 103
Great for...
Best time to visit
Apr - Jul
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open 9am - 5pm, daily except Christmas and Boxing Day
Visitor centre
Disabled toilet
Baby changing
32.00 hectares
Living Landscape schemes
Lee Valley Living Landscape

Access to the reserve is open everyday from 9am to 5pm. No dogs are allowed on the reserve. Numerous hides to watch birds and other wildlife from.
Walking information
Wheelchair and pushchair accessible. All paths are surfaced but one small surfaced section has short grass cover.
Rye Meads Visitor Centre Car Park - RSPB request a donation for parking.
No dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Konik ponies, water buffalo
Reserve manager
Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01727 858901


Factsheets and guides for your visit