A project designed to reduce the risk of flash flooding in Mevagissey has been given grant funding worth £280,000.  

Westcountry Rivers Trust’s Climate Resilient Mevagissey project is working with farmers in the upper reaches of the catchment to improve soil health, so that rainwater soaks into the soil instead of across the land.  

Other measures include installing cross drains, moving gateways, buffer strips and Cornish hedges. These will store and slow surface water runoff, reducing peak flows in the watercourse and flash flooding. Larger estates in the area will feature leaky dams, ponds, and tree planting along watercourses. 

Westcountry Rivers Trust chief executive Dr Laurence Couldrick said: “Mevagissey is a steep-sided rapid-response catchment which has flooded 27 times since 1960, most significantly in 2010 when more than 70 homes and businesses were flooded. 

“Our project is designed to slow, move and store water through soil management and nature-based solutions as flooding can occur within an hour of peak rainfall.  

“It builds on important past work and relationships in the area, as well as integrating with our existing projects such as Resilient Catchment Communities funded through the Shared Prosperity Fund.” 

Truro-based Climate Vision CIC has been working on the project. 

Director Luci Isaacson said its approach extended beyond mitigation measures with long-term perspectives in mind.  

“We have sought input from farmers on flood management possibilities, prioritising their needs and preferences – such as shared machinery that improves soil health – to ensure delivery of practical and community-driven solutions,” she said. 

People living in the catchment will be encouraged to volunteer as part of the project, including through citizen science. 

Floods Minister Robbie Moore announced on Friday that 40 projects across England were set to benefit from £25-million funding, to help increase the nation’s flood resilience by using nature.  

The Natural Flood Management programme is managed by the Environment Agency until March 2027.