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  2. Discover Raystede

Discover Raystede for Yourself!

Known as a ‘hidden gem’ in Sussex, Raystede is full of surprises and one of the most diverse animal rescue centres in the UK. 

As you enter you'll be able to discover 43 acres of beautiful countryside and you'll hear our 140 exotic birds. You may even get a “HELLO”, “WEIRDO” or even wolf whistle from one of the birds! 

We welcome visitors to come and meet the animals that live in ‘sanctuary’ with us, meaning they stay here for the rest of their days. There are tortoises to see and you might even catch some of our terrapins sunbathing! Our friendly ponies, horses and goats (we call them our equine herd) often come to the fence to say hello.

Entry and parking is FREE and we are a charity, so a donation is very much appreciated, ensuring that we can continue to care for the rescue animals who need our help. 

What's Happening This Summer

This Summer we invite you to come and have some fun with us learning about all the different animals. 

The Summer Holidays kick off with exotic bird week starting on Mon 24th July – A chance to get up close and personal, and to learn more about our exotic feathered friends.  

In August we celebrate an assortment of animals, with dog week, chicken week, tortoise week and goat week. There will be FREE themed activities every weekday for visitors to enjoy.  

We'll finish the summer with a week of small animal themed activities, starting on Mon 27th August, giving you the opportunity to meet and learn about some of our smallest, furriest (and cutest) residents.

Summer Animal Fun 

At weekends the animal fun continues with expert talks from our animal care staff about the animals in their care, often including a tour.  

Every Saturday you can get to know our goats, meet our chickens and join guided tours of the cattery and rabbitry. 

Every Sunday enjoy a close encounter with our donkeys, experience one of our exotic birds up close and personal and meet a current rescue dog waiting for a home.

The animals that we find #foreverhomes for are rabbits, dogs, cats and hens. Sometimes these animals have been mistreated or neglected, so it’s part of our work to help people understand how to care for them properly. 

Whilst walking around the centre you'll come across our large rabbitry and see the bunnies hopping around, going about their daily business. In the cattery cats and kittens might be hiding in their beds or playing in their outside area, enjoying the sunshine. Rescue dogs are often out for walks around site or receiving attention from our volunteers. 

There’s plenty to keep an eye out for.

An example of timings for the summer holiday activities as follows:

12.00 Meet and exotic bird
1.30 Behind the scenes tour of the aviaries
3.00 Make a treat for the birds

 *Animal themes and activities change each week but timings are always the same.

Come & Explore the Magic at Raystede! 

Visit all the sections to see which animals you can see. 

Look out for our 'animal detective trails', join in some activities, then grab a coffee & delicious cake (gluten free if you prefer), or a spot of lunch in our cafe.

Our animal detective trail is a special trail around the site which changes to a different animal theme every month. It's available every day at Raystede - Are you prepared to don your animal detective mask and follow the clues around site? 

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the answers, follow your nose to find the smell box, dare to put your hand into the 'feely' boxesWhat will be waiting for you inside?!  

Trails cost £2 from our visitor information centre, which includes your trail sheet, pencil and an animal detective mask.

Also keep your eyes on our events page, which is updated regularly, as we have a wide selection of one off events held at Raystede all year long! 

We all look forward to welcoming you at the centre very soon. 

Make a donation

Donate now to help us rescue & save more animals' lives.