Flood Risk Management

Shoreline Management Plan

The coasts of England and Wales are covered by twenty Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) which are produced by the Environment Agency and other key stakeholders.

The SMP is a non-statutory policy document for coastal defence planning and sets out the recommended approach to managing the shoreline over the next 100 years.

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Shoreline Management Plan was last reviewed in 2011 and is currently being refreshed to ensure it remains appropriate and includes any new evidence which may have come to light since then.

- The Shoreline Management Plan originally was created for the Isles of Scilly in 1999 (SMP1 Isles of Scilly). 

- The second (current) Shoreline Management Plan was published in 2011 as the ‘Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Shoreline Management Plan (SMP2)’. The Isles of Scilly Section of the SMP2 is available in a PDF format here

- A mid-term review of the SMP2 was completed in 2016 and is available here, including a separate report for the Isles of Scilly.

An update of the Shoreline Management Plan is in progress and will be published when it is completed.

A map of the extent of the current Shoreline Management Plan designations for the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and the Severn Estuary is available here. This map is coded according to the following designations for the short, medium and long-term as:

NAI – No Active Intervention

HTL – Hold The Line

MR – Managed Retreat


Isles of Scilly Local Flood Risk Management Strategy

Under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, the Council of the Isles of Scilly, as Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) for the islands has a duty to develop, maintain, apply and monitor a strategy for local flood risk management in its area.

The Isles of Scilly Local Flood Risk Management Strategy aims to reduce the number of people and properties at risk, increase community resilience and reduce the social and economic impact of flooding.

Local flood risk is defined as flood risk from surface runoff, groundwater and ordinary water courses, including references to lakes, ponds or other area of water which flows into an ordinary water course. However it is coastal erosion, tidal action and coastal flooding that pose by far and away the most significant flood risk to the islands. It is for this reason that the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy has been expanded to include the threat of coastal flooding. The Environment Agency is responsible for coastal flood and erosion risk management in England.

In partnership with the Environment Agency, we’ve produced the  Local Flood Risk Management Strategy for the Isles of Scilly. This sets out our plan for better managing flood risks in our area.

The Strategy is currently being updated.


Draft Flood Risk Management Plans

The Environment Agency is running a 3 month public consultation on draft Flood Risk Management Plans, from 22 October 2021 to 21 January 2022.

You can read more information and complete the survey by visiting the Environment Agency’s online consultation hub


Flood Risk Responsibility

The Environment Agency is responsible for the strategic overview of all sources of flood and coastal erosion risk.

Coastal Flooding & Erosion
The Environment Agency is specifically responsible for coastal flooding and flooding from main rivers (however there are no main rivers on the Isles of Scilly). As the Coastal Protection Authority, the Council has principal responsibility for coastal erosion. 

Surface & Ground Water Flooding 
The Council is responsible for flooding from surface water, ground water and managing the flood risk from Council owned and maintained highways drainage.

Sewers & Water Mains
South West Water is responsible for managing the flood risk from sewers and burst water mains.


Coastal Flood Risk Volunteers

The Council of the Isles of Scilly, as the Lead Local Flood Authority, is working with the Environment Agency to extend the National Flood Warning System to cover the islands. We are seeking the help of local residents who would be available to support us understand what happens during a storm event here on the islands. If you would like to be part of this group to understand more about the flood risk on the islands, and to help us better protect the community in future, please email environment@scilly.gov.uk