Brightly coloured finches, cockatiels and yellow canaries have been put up in a new home while £10,000 of improvements are made to their aviary.

The ornate aviary near the entrance to Cannizaro Park in Wimbledon Common is a well-known landmark for visitors wandering into the Grade II listed garden but ground staff had reported it was leaking water and was in need of a lick of paint.

The work is part of a sprucing up of the park by the Friends of Cannizaro Park and Merton Council over the next few months, including clearing Japanese knotweed from the water garden.

The council matched £5,000 raised by the Friends to carry out the work.

A total of 60 birds have been moved to a temporary home nearby while repair works are carried out to their aviary.

Friends secretary Alison Young said: "It has been in a state for the last 18 months where it was leaking and the storms finished it off.

"It was built in 1976 and hadn't had much attention since.

"The cockatiels started to demolish it."

Friends member Wendy Price added: "The council is helping to fund the restoration of the aviary.

"It was all rotting.

"It is a fantastic park and it is used by so many families in the summer but it suffers from a lack of funding."

The Friends are hoping to get charity status for the group and welcome new volunteers to help them carry out small projects.

Mrs Young added: "There are parts that badly need help but there's not the money at the council."

In the aviary are three yellow canaries, 40 zebra finches, cockatiels and their two babies, and a Bengalese finch.

It is hoped they will be able to return home in about two weeks when the work is done.