South-West Property Flood Resilience Pathfinder

Location: Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
Client: Cornwall Council, Environment Agency and Defra

Between September 2019 and September 2021we were a key project delivery partner on the Defra-funded SouthWest Property Flood Resilience (PFR) Pathfinder. 

Reaching its conclusion at the end of September 2021, this project was one of three DEFRA-commissioned pathfinder projects in England. The SouthWest PFR Pathfinder project was led by Cornwall Council, on behalf of the five Lead Local Flood Authorities in the SouthWest and formed part of the Government’s plan to create a nation ready for and resilient to climate change. 


The focus of this project was to help individuals, businesses and communities in the SouthWest gain greater awareness of their flood risk and to raise awareness of Property Flood Resilience. To achieve this, we needed to identify any barriers that existed to the uptake and delivery of PFR, and also establish where PFR schemes have already been provided across the region.  

Originally, it was hoped there would be plenty of opportunity for face-to-face engagement with communities across the SouthWest. However, with Covid-19 restrictions in place across the country, we had to adapt the way in which we carried out this project.


To gain an understanding of what type of PFR schemes had been provided previously, we undertook an initial base line studyBy conducting this detailed research, we were able to gain a better understanding of the historic use of PFR in Devon, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly. Through collecting information from the Environment Agency and the five Lead Local Flood Authorities, the study identified 35 resistance-focused PFR Schemes had been completedproviding PFR measures to approximately 700 properties over the last decade. The study also helped to identify a number of barriers to the uptake and delivery of PFR, which helped form the strategy for the next two phases of the project.


Utilising the data gathered from the base line survey we were able to work closely with the Pathfinder Team to develop a wide range of resources to raise awareness of PFR and provide information and guidance to those living and working at flood risk.  

This included the acquisition of a purpose-designed exhibition ‘FloodPod’ trailer; the creation of the BeFloodReady website and social media channelscontributing to a PFR information booklet designed to provide homeowners with details about PFR options and schemes; running PFR workshops with communities and businesses across the SouthWest; and helping to setup the SouthWest Climate Change Centre at the Heartlands Heritage site, featuring an interactive studio showcasing PFR. 

We also contributed to the creation of a series of 13 animated PFR videos, each focussing on one type of PFR measure and demonstrating how each product type can help reduce water ingress into a property. We also launched a specially commissioned Aardman Animations short film – BeFloodReady – Missy’s Tale’. By calling on the fourtime, Academy Award® winning Aardman Animations studio we have already reached a very wide audience in our efforts to raise awareness and take-up of PFR.

Want to know more?

For more information about this project please email Phil Emonson (Project Manager) or Holly Cavill (Project Officer) – or head over to the BeFloodReady website. 

Leave a Reply