Pevensey Levels

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On the Pevensey Levels

The Pevensey Levels are an extensive area of marshland in Sussex, biting far inland from the English Channel coast and lying between Bexhill in the east, Pevensey in the west and Hailsham in the north. The Pevensey Haven, a river, wanders through the levels, joined here by endless streams and rivulets as it makes its way toward the sea.

The levels and the river both meet the sea at Pevensey Bay, the name both of a seaside village and of the shallow bay on whose shore it stands.

Nature reserve

The levels have been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, extending over 8651 acres.[1]

The area is now a conservation area owned jointly by Natural England and the Sussex Wildlife Trust. There are many nationally rare plants and invertebrates, including the fen raft spider. The site is very fragile and general access is not permitted

Physical influences

At the end of the last Ice AGe, about 10,000 years ago, rising sea-levels flooded the lower reaches of the numerous coastal river valleys in the Pevensey area. This resulted in the creation of a tidal estuary with a wide bay. The present Levels were under water.

Over hundreds of years, the Levels gradually changed from saltmarsh to reedy meadows although much of the area was still under water as recently as 700 to 800 years ago.

Outside links


  1. SSSI listing and designation for Pevensey Levels