It is managed by the RSPB.
Given that it is situated in a largely urban area, it is unsurprising that it is used largely for educational visits from schools. It has an artificial Kingfisher bank that was occupied by breeding birds before it was completed.
It has a significant population of wintering Green Sandpipers, which were joined in 2001 by their rare Nearctic cousin, a Solitary Sandpiper. Since this is a major rarity in the UK, it is astonishing that it was not only the fourth record of the species in the inland county of Hertfordshire, but also the second for the Rye House reserve.
The reserve adjoins the historic Rye House.