The legal record of public rights of way (PRoW) is known as a definitive map and statement.
These are public documents and you can see them at our Customer Centre. Please contact us to make an appointment.
Alternatively you can view the general location of public rights of way online.
Please note that the map shown online is not the definitive map and cannot be relied on for the exact location of a PRoW. If you need to know the exact location of a PRoW please contact us.
Public rights of way legal notices and registers
Our public rights of way notices and registers page shows:
- our current PRoW notices
- our register of definitive map modification orders (DMMO)
- our register of section 31(6) deposits
Temporary closure of a public right of way
You can apply to close a PRoW for either 5 days or 6 months so that you can carry out works. Please see our road closures page for more details and an application form.
Diverting or creating a public right of way
Land owners 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 it is important to bear the following in mind:
- all PRoWs crossing your land should be open and available to the public before any application to divert them can be made
- the proposed new route must not be 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
Please see the Highways Act Section 119 application pack for more information about the process of diversion.
See guidance on how to make changes to the legal status of a public right of way on GOV.UK.
If you are a land owner and would like to create a new PRoW over your land please contact us because there are a number of options available.
In very limited circumstances it is possible to extinguish or stop up a PRoW. Please contact us to discuss the available options.
Please note that a PRoW not being used is extremely unlikely to be sufficient grounds for extinguishment.
Changing the Definitive Map
When you walk along a public footpath or ride along a public bridleway it is the Definitive Map and Statement that protects your right to use these routes. A route being shown on it is legally conclusive proof that public rights exist over the recorded way.
If you feel that there is an error on the Definitive Map and Statement, you can ask to have it amended.
You can make a definitive map modification order (DMMO) application to change the Definitive Map if you think:
- a PRoW exists that is not recorded on the definitive map and statement
- a PRoW already shown is recorded incorrectly
The process of going from initial DMMO application to final decision is often a long and complicated one. Therefore it is important to carefully read the available guidance notes:
- 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 processes DMMO applications in accordance with our adopted Statement of Priorities.
DMMO Evidence Statements
If you wish to include evidence of long use by the public please contact us and we will happily supply you with user evidence statements (they are customised to your application so cannot be made available on the website).
If you have been given a user evidence statement and need help completing it please read our guide to completing your User Evidence Statement.
If you have asked for a land owner evidence statement and need help completing it please see our guide to completing a land owner evidence statement.
Protecting your land from further public rights of way being established
Under section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980 it is open to all land owners to make a deposit with the council to prevent public rights being established in the future.
In order to make an application you will need to complete the CA16 application form.
You can also download examples of CA16 forms, which have already been filled out.
See our Highways Act Section 31 guidance notes for further details.
You can also protect your land from the establishment of a town or village green at the same time.
There is a charge of £210 to protect your land under section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980.
To make a registration under the Commons Act 2006 as well there is an additional charge. Please see the common land, town and village greens page for further details.