The village of Layer de la Haye may not be an historical showpiece in the mould of some of its Suffolk counterparts, but a number of factors, chance among them, has given it an enviable environment in terms of ecology and as a place to live.
It is cushioned from the sprawling suburbs of Colchester, not more than a mile away, by the woodlands and fields of the Roman River Valley, an area rich in wild life and plants of all kinds. Since 1976 this area, which covers most of the village, has been designated a Conservation Zone, though regrettably this does not confer any statuatory restrictions or special planning powers.
The village itself, a mixture of old and new housing, a factor which has helped to preserve its vitality as a community, has roads still lined by ancient hedgerows, an attractive green and pond, and many footpaths which provide pleasant walks in varying scenery.
And then, to the south, is Abberton Reservoir, covering a fifth of the old parish lands but providing in its place a bird sanctuary whose importance is acknowledged by the statuatory protection is has been given. Covering 1200 acres it is home at periods during the year to thousands of resident and migrating birds.
Thus we have, within the confines of our parish boundary, a natural environment as rich and varied as could be found anywhere in this part of the country, or indeed further afield.