VITAL work is underway to repair a leak in the Thames and Severn Canal at Thrupp as part of the regeneration project.

The repairs will prevent the risk of people falling into hidden voids under the towpath and stop the embankment collapsing into the River Frome.

Project manager Paul Coupe said: "The primary aim for doing the work is public safety.

"This work also needs to be done now before it gets worse to avoid spending money in the future."

Mr Coupe also asked people, for their own safety, to heed signs along the section which inform that the towpath is closed. The £20,000 project, funded by Gloucestershire County Council and Stroud District Council, focus on a section of canal near Jubilee Bridge.

Tree roots once dislodged bricks at several places along the canal wall and have since rotted away to create a leak.

Water flowing under the towpath into the Frome has cut about four voids of up to one metre deep under the towpath, weakening the embankment and risking public safety.

The leak has also led to pollution of the river with ammonia and an increased flood risk.

Work started on Monday to locate the leak along the wall.

Officials hope next week to start filling in the voids with a clay mix before laying a new stone surface.