The legal record of public rights of way (PRoW) is known as the 'definitive map and statement'.
You can see the general location of public rights of way:
Note: Our online map is not the definitive map, so cannot be relied on for the exact location of a PRoW. Contact us if you need to know the exact location of a PRoW.
Temporary closure of a public right of way
You can apply to close a PRoW for up to 6 months if you need to carry out works which will cause an obstruction.
Diverting or creating a public right of way
Landowners can apply to us to divert any existing PRoW where:
- it would be blocked by a new building
- realigning the PRoW would assist the land owner
Before considering a diversion, bear in mind:
- all PRoWs crossing your land should be open and available to the public before applying to divert them
- the proposed new route must not be substantially less convenient than the current PRoW
- the proposed new route cannot be diverted on to an existing public highway or a route that will be subject to an agreement made under section 38 of the Highways Act 1980
For more information on diverting a PRoW, see:
- the Highways Act Section 119 application pack
- guidance on how to make changes to the legal status of a public right of way (GOV.UK)
Contact us if:
- you're a landowner and would like to create a new PRoW
- you'd like to remove a PRoW from the definitive map
Note: It's extremely unlikely that a PRoW not being used would be sufficient grounds to remove it from the definitive map.
Changing the definitive map
The definitive map and statement is legally conclusive proof that a right of way exists in the position shown on the map. It allows us to take action against anyone who tries to prevent the public using these routes.
You can make a Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO) application to change the definitive map if you think a PRoW:
- is not recorded on the definitive map and statement
- is recorded incorrectly
It's often a long and complicated process from initial DMMO application to final decision - read our guidance notes for assistance:
- Overview of the DMMO process
- DMMO - pre application guidance - to find out whether the route you have in mind meets the requirements set out by the legislation
- DMMO - guide to suitable evidence - for more information and places you can look for additional evidence to support your application
- guidance on submitting your DMMO application - for help completing your application
- DMMO - guidance for land owners - if you have received a notice saying that an application has been made for a PRoW crossing land you own
We process DMMO applications in accordance with our adopted Statement of Priorities.
DMMO Evidence Statements
Contact us if you wish to include evidence of long public use with your application - we can provide a user evidence statement including a map of the relevant area.
Read our guides to completing evidence statements:
Protecting your land from further Public Rights of Way
Under section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980, landowners can declare they have no intention of allowing additional rights of way over their land.
Declarations cost £210 and are valid for 20 years.
Landowners can also protect their land from the establishment of a town or village green at the same time.
To make a declaration:
- complete the CA16 application form (GOV.UK)
- download examples of completed CA16 forms
- see our Highways Act Section 31 guidance notes