A £4.6M package of flood defences for the fl ood-ravaged Cornish fishing village of Boscastle, including major ground works to reshape the River Valency, was approved last month.
The work, to be carried out at three locations by contractor Carillion, will reshape the River Valency at one location downstream by lowering the river bed and increasing the width to enlarge channel capacity.
The level of the main car park in the village will also be raised and new barriers installed to prevent vehicles from being swept up in flash floods.
'The work will be a combination of excavating through bedrock to create a lower channel and raising walls, ' said Environment Agency flood risk manager Gordon Trapmore.
Detailed analysis by consultant HR Wallingford found that reshaping the River Valency would slow down the flow of water during heavy rain. This included computer modelling, flood simulations and analysis of video footage of the flash flood that devastated the village in August 2004.
Boscastle suffered major damage when heavy rain swept up trees, mud and cars and deposited them in the Valency causing the river to burst its banks. The work, which has been granted planning permission by North Cornwall District Council, is expected to complete in Spring 2008.