Environment Agency visits Coverack to check on progress after last month's flash flood


The chair of the Environment Agency has visited Coverack to check on progress after last month’s flash flood.

Emma Howard Boyd met residents to see the progress of recovery work 3 weeks after flash flooding hit the Cornish village.


The head of the agency responsible for flood protection spent 2 days in Cornwall. She took a tour of the fishing village and also visited a project to boost fish numbers at Grogley on the Camel Trail.

Emma and staff walk along coastal path in Coverack with scaffolding in background
EA Area director Richard Stockdale shows Emma Howard Boyd around Coverack

Cornwall Council declared a major incident at 5.40pm on 18 July when flash flooding affected about 50 properties in Coverack. More than 105mm of rainfall fell within 3 hours. The recovery effort saw Environment Agency staff:

  • transport 100 tons of silt from a river bed and take it 50m upstream
  • remove 50 tons of debris from the beach
  • dispose of 40 tons of green waste blocking watercourses
  • remove 30 tons of silt, fallen trees and other blockages
  • clear blockages from culverts

One of these culverts threatened to flood the home next door. Environment Agency staff cleared the watercourse that flowed within yards of the kitchen window and dug family possessions out of the silt by hand.

Environment Agency chair Emma Howard Boyd, right, with colleagues on the Camel trail in Cornwall

On Wednesday 9 August Emma travelled by bike using the Camel trail to Grogley, where she was shown the Water for Growth project – a £2.2 million project to restore freshwater fish habitats to the Camel and Fowey rivers.

The project is a partnership with the Environment Agency, Westcountry Rivers Trust, Natural England and South West Water to remove obstructions to fish migration, making it easier for salmon and trout to spawn in Cornwall. The river restoration project is intended to create an improved environment for people and wildlife while adding value for local businesses that depend on sustainable fisheries.