On May bank holiday Monday my wife and I had an exclusive walk with Philip Crummy around the site of the Roman Circus.

It was an advertised free guided walk that only my wife and I turned up for.

The site is still being developed along with help from the housing developer of the area, and a fine job they are doing.

The starting gate area and the gardens of the archaeological headquarters have been upgraded that they now show a profile of the seating area of the circus.

There’s a good project waiting for some group, that is to plant up the area, maybe as a Roman garden?That would surely win a gold for Colchester in any “in bloom” awards.

The walk involved the length of the circus which stretches from the starting gate site to nearly Mersea Road. The keen eye of some people may have noticed the change in materials of the pathways around the area, marking out where the walls of the circus are underground.

On return to the headquarters there is a lovely cafe, that makes a proper cup of tea, and I was impressed with the afternoon tea that was delivered on a three tier cake stand.

There is parking by the side of the building and Butt Road car park is a short distance away and is only £2.50 all day.

It is a shame such a nice place and area is not advertised well and can easily be missed, which is a pity because it can make a pleasant afternoon.

Steve Waters Great Horkesley

  • Organic farming’s true benefits

I SUPPOSE by now I should not be surprised when Peter Fairs uses his regular farming article to rant against the conservation movement.

His latest was the turn of organic agriculture. He referred to a recent scientific report from the University of British Columbia.

Scientific articles of this type are not the easiest to read or interpret but I took the trouble to find it and study it myself.

This was a review by two scientists (Seufert and Ramankutty), summarising recent research into the benefits and drawback of organic methods.

I will grant the report’s findings confirmed organic crop yields were sometimes lower than those produced using chemicals, although they did find improved performance in some cases, such as forage crops.

His second assertion (that increased cultivation of the soil would release more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere), is not supported in the report. The authors actually found that emissions of such gases were “lower under organic management for most crops”.

They also pointed to the potential benefits to other factors such as biodiversity, and water quality.

Overall, the authors concluded “organic agriculture offers many benefits and could be an important part of a suite of strategies to improve the sustainability and equity of our food system”.

Peter Fairs would do better to stick with what he knows, rather than spouting his biased opinions.

Graham Womack MSc Avocet Close, Kelvedon

  • Time to solve traffic problems

Tom Weston’s letter and photo show just one of the problems with Colchester town centre traffic (Gazette letters May 4).

Why are these vans still in Sir Isaacs Walk at 11am, the time when this becomes a designated pedestrian area?

Barriers similar to those erected at the entrance to Culver Street West should also be in place at the Head Street exit from Sir Isaacs Walk and delivery times should be clearly shown so that drivers know when they must vacate the area.

Another point, of course, is the potential damage to pavements when vans park as shown in the photo.

It is time our councils sorted out town centre traffic problems rather than just burying their heads in the sand.

If they cannot find a solution perhaps it’s time to employ outside consultants who may be able to come up with some innovating ideas to solve our problems.

Norman Bailey Cambridge Road, Colchester

  • Nothing from candidates so no point voting

Please would you allow me to address all of the local election candidates through your newspaper.

How do you expect people to vote for you if you can’t be bothered to let them know what your policies are? 

I’ve spoken to many people in Walton who have received no leaflets from any of the candidates, I’ve seen no-one canvassing in Walton High Street, Connaught Avenue or the Triangle shopping precinct, but I expect if the turn out is low you will blame the apathy on the voters. 

Well, I think the apathy lies with you for failing us before we’ve even got to the polling stations.

Lesley Lord Old Hall Lane, Walton

  • Fewer police means rise in knife crime

Police numbers have been reduced by 20,000 under the Conservatives, mostly by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary. 

With fewer police on the beat, is it any wonder that crime has gone up, especially knife crime.

If we had more police we would have a better chance of catching those who carry knives.

Glanville Williams Van Dyck Road, Colchester

  • ‘Road safety is down to us’

We are seeing more and motorists speeding, talking on mobile devices, drinking steaming hot beverages while driving, more “road rage” and general bad driving habits.

During March on the roads of Essex – two people were killed, 63 serious injured, 224 mobile phone offences, 93 drink drive arrests, 68 drug drive arrests, 348 seat belt offences, 328 vehicles seized – no insurance, 104 careless driving offences prosecuted.

More than 6,000 number of road safety courses delivered.​We all know since 2010, with 40 per cent reduction in funding, police officer numbers have been slashed. 

The few remaining police officers we have in Essex are limited in their attempts to secure sensible driving on our roads – it’s up to us to ensure safe motoring.

Adam Pipe, casualty reduction manager for Essex Police, has kindly offered to come along to the annual parish meeting, to be held at Chappel School to talk on the subject of road safety on May 22 at 7.30pm.

Please try to come along as we all know it makes sense not to lose a loved one in a road traffic incident also to find out what you can do to help prevent unnecessary serious casualties, or, death.

Patrick Dent Station Road, Wakes Colne