NATURE-LOVERS, ramblers and dog-walkers may be forced to pay to park at one of Worcester’s most popular outdoor spaces.

Bosses at County hall are considering bringing in parking charges at the Worcester Woods Country Park on the Western edge of the city.

The park is right next door to the authority’s headquarters which already suffers from overcrowding in its car parks.

Bosses at County hall are tight-lipped about the likelihood of the measure being introduced, but they have admitted that it is an option.

A spokesperson for Worcestershire County Council said: "Worcestershire County Council is reviewing income generation opportunities across its entire estate. The review is in the very early stages and no decisions have been made."

If charges are introduced, it looks likely to be an unpopular measure.

In a discussion of rumours of the introduction of charges at the outdoor centre on the Warndon Six Action Group page on Facebook, one resident wrote: “At a stroke it will kill off dogwalkers, park runners, the café. But, for those do not wish to pay, or who currently manage to park in there and go to alternative venues like county hall or Worcestershire Royal Hospital, it will just push the problem onto more parking on residential areas.

“The place is full most days of the week on conferences No doubt the exclusive segment reserved for County Hall staff will be exempt from charges.”

The chairman of Warndon Parish Council, Ray Morris said he couldn’t comment as the council had not been notified of the possibility of the charges.

The manager of the Orchard Café at the popular attraction said she hadn’t heard anything about the matter and could not comment further.