A diversion is in place while a popular footpath is closed for work to widen pathways, put in wildlife habitats and a new pond.

Ten weeks of work on the Wandle Trail has begun, which means diversions are in place for walkers and cyclists around the stretch between Trewint Street, Earlsfield and Plough Lane.

It is hoped the improvements will help alleviate flooding and reduce the number of mud soaked sections on some of the pathways that have occurred following the recent heavy rainfall.

Wimbledon Guardian:

A new pond area part way along the path will help to combat flooding either side of the path and will provide a new resource for wildlife habitat. Log piles will also be created alongside the path for insects and invertebrates.

The stretchwill also be widened to two and a half metres and resurfacing it in a more durable sealed stone gravel finish.

The project has been led by Sustrans in partnership with the London Borough of Merton and the Wandle Trail Improvement Programme Board.

A diversion has been put up to help users navigate their way around, with maps and signs to help people to find their way around.

The work, which started on Monday, will be carried out in two stages - the first will be the widening and initial surfacing of the path in tarmac.

The second stage will be in April or May of this year when the weather is warmer, when a natural stone surface will be laid over the top of the tarmac.

This will help the new path to blend in to its surroundings and will be less intrusive than the initial tarmac base, which will not be visible once the new surface is laid.

German Dector-Vega, Sustrans’ London director, said: "We are delighted that almost a year of planning this project is coming to fruition.

"When finished the path should look fantastic and will enable people of all abilities to use the trail, including wheelchairs users, families with pushchairs or people on hand-bikes, who may previously have not been able to enjoy this stretch due to the narrow aspect of the path and the muddy, uneven surface.

"We have been extremely attentive to environmental issues and are keen to ensure that the trail maintains its vital role as an area of natural beauty and habitat for wildlife."