A campaign calling on Merton Council to transform Wimbledon Park Lake into the borough's very own swimming hole is gaining momentum.

Earlier this year the Swim Wimbledon Park group started a petition urging the local authority to allow open water swimming in the lake.

The petition has gained nearly 3000 signatures and campaigner Sophie Brunt said if done right, it could be a big draw for the town.

"With the nearest open water swimming facility currently a 45-minute drive away, bringing a new local facility of this type to the area would have huge benefits," she said.

"Open air swimming improves physical and mental health.

"The park would receive better care, through regular water testing and more attention to keeping the space tidy.

"Local shops and cafes would benefit from more people visiting the park to swim."

The group recently carried out its own water test, which it said came back with an 'excellent' rating based on the EU bating safety standards.

To view the petition, click here

Combine that with the fact that the council is required to carry out improvement works by January 2022 and Ms Brunt can't see a reason why Wimbledon Park Lake shouldn't be open to the public to swim in.

"Like other outdoor swimming facilities in Hampstead, Tooting Bec, Shepperton and Royal London Docks, a pay model at Wimbledon Park Lake would mean swimming would become financially self-sustaining," she added.

"Swimming would be available at designated times and in specific areas to avoid inconveniencing other people using the lake.

"Open air swimming in Wimbledon Park will bring better wellbeing for everyone."

It seems at least some of the decision makers at the council agree.

Cabinet member for commerce, leisure and culture, Councillor Caroline Cooper-Marbiah, said: "I think open water swimming in Wimbledon Park Lake is a great idea.

"Of course, safety would be paramount, and swimming would have to work around other activities including angling and the water sports programme for the lake, which are also popular with the borough’s residents.

"Officers have met with residents from Swim Wimbledon and are currently working with them to explore the viability of having open water swimming in Wimbledon Park Lake.”