A major clean-up began in Cornwall on Thursday after torrential rains pounded the county, leaving parts of it devastated by flooding.

Around 100 homes were evacuated on Wednesday after Devon and Cornwall Police declared a "major incident".

Many people were Thursday preparing to remove an inch-thick layer of mud from their homes, shops and offices.

The Met Office predicted further showers in the South West on Thursday morning but said they would ease in the afternoon.

Meanwhile the Environment Agency reduced the number of flood warnings to three and the number of flood watches to 13. The warnings were issued on stretches of the River Clyst, Axe and Culm.

Popular ecological tourist attraction the Eden Project closed on Wednesday citing "severe flooding" and a spokeswoman told AFP the centre would not reopen before Monday.

"The good news is that now the flood waters are receding in Cornwall and now the clean-up operation has to get under way," Lord Smith, the chairman of the Environment Agency, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

But while he said 2.1 billion pounds of government funding had been secured to complete flood defence projects over the next four years, he warned that future operations could be threatened by recent public spending cuts.

"Where we will have difficulty, I fear, over the coming couple of years is in starting new flood defences that might have been possible," he said.