THERE are fears a crumbling road surface could make a popular country park all but inaccessible.

The road off The Avenue into the car park of Stanton Country Park is in a very poor condition, with deep potholes growing in size.

And those who go to the 74-hectare park every day to say that if it’s this bad in November, then a hard winter could cut the park off from people who want to enjoy its community groups and facilities.

Anne Billingham is the secretary of Every Cloud, a charitable arts and crafts group that works with people needing personal support. She said: “We don’t expect a hugely smooth surface on a road into a country park but it’s becoming very bad.

“The holes are getting bigger and deeper and the side of the road is also crumbling.The position of some of the holes means if you try and avoid them, you risk slipping off quite a high drop at the side.

“It’s the weather which has caused it mainly, but also heavy trucks which come and take away the timber the council has felled in the park.

“We’re worried if it gets worse after frost and snow then by the time spring comes, nobody will be able to get into the park. It’s a really popular area, lots of people come and use it.”

Another group using the farmhouse at the park’s headquarters is the Swindon Honey Bee Conservation Group.

Its founder Ron Hoskins said: “You can see the damage the lorries do at the side of the road and when they turn right at the end of the lane.

"The rangers used to work hard trying to fill the holes with gravel, but it all just came out over time and they’re too big for that now.”

The lane has even had space cleared at its side with gravel put down to allow motorists to try and avoid some of the holes, but that gravel is being worn away, and scars in the field on either side of the paved surface show where vehicles have veered to get round the obstacles

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “The road in question was only ever meant to be used as an access track to a farmhouse. But in recent years it has become busier and busier and will need a more complete repair, which will likely cost a significant sum of money.

“In the meantime, we have been patching the potholes to ensure full access is maintained. We are currently weighing up future options and we will have to ensure that whatever solution we come up with is in the best interests of road users and taxpayers alike.”