Public rights of way
Public rights of way
What is a public right of way?
Public rights of way are open to everyone at any time and give you the right to walk, ride a horse or cycle along certain routes. Some rights of way are open to vehicles.
Report a problem on a right of way
Report a problem with...
- a sign
- an animal
- an obstruction
- overgrown vegetation
- the misuse of a path
- a structure on the path
- the surface of a path
You can follow up on issues you have reported with our Report it Online query.
Public rights of way are sometime closed temporarily. Click the button to see the current list.
What is a definitive map and statement?
It is a legal record of the public rights of way and shows the routes of each public footpath, bridleway, restricted byway and byway open to all traffic in the county.
You can view the:
- Original map at Shire Hall during office hours (no need to book an appointment)
- Rights of Way Map online
This is not the definitive map but our attempt to show the data in an electronic format
Definitive Map Modification Orders and Public Path Orders
It is possible to change the Definitive Map by applying for a modification order or public path diversion order.
There are three types of modifications:
- Deleting the public right of way from the Definitive Map
- Adding a public right of way to the Definitive Map
- Altering the status of a public right of way already recorded e.g. footpath to bridleway
If you wish to apply to vary the route of an existing Public Right of Way, please contact our Public Rights of Way Department via firstname.lastname@example.org (marked FAO PROW Team).
If you wish to apply to add or delete rights of way, or to change the status of paths already shown on the Definitive Map (either through the submission of 'user evidence', or 'historic documentary evidence', or a combination of both), please contact our Modification Orders Team via email@example.com.
List of Current Diversion/Extinguishment Orders (under Section 118/119 of the Highways Act 1980):
Please note that an Order to extinguish, divert or create a public right of way is firstly "Made" and published. There is then a 28 day period for representations or objections. Before an Order is "Confirmed", any objections have to be resolved and works to a new path completed. Once the Order is "Confirmed", it is then subject to a further 6 week 'procedural' review period. Once that period is over, and assuming no other relevant issues arise, the change can be shown on the Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way and the 'digitised' PROW map.
Register of Definitive Map Modification Order applications:
The Council must maintain a Register of all applications for Definitive Map Modification Orders made under s.53 of the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act (Statutory Instrument: 2005, no.2461). We are required to maintain this Register with effect from 31 December 2005. There is an online version of the Register; however, a paper copy of the Register is also required to be kept for public inspection at the Shire Hall Offices.
Click here to view the Modification Order Register on-line
You can search the online Register for applications by either parish, village or nearest town; we have not provided a facility to search by postcode, as this is considered to be of limited value in identifying the location of any claimed path. However, if you know a postcode and wish to find which parish it is located in, please use the "Postcode Parish & Ward Lookup" facility:
Please also note that the names and addresses of the applicant, and any affected landowners, have been removed from the actual Register, to avoid any possible unwarranted distress to the individuals concerned.
The technical issues which had led to the status of some applications being shown incorrectly have been resolved, but the occasional error may remain. We will aim to investigate, and correct if necessary within 28 days, any error which is brought to our attention.
Highways Act 1980, Section 31(6) depositions
Section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980 enables a landowner to deposit with the highway authority a map and statement showing the ways (if any) that he/she admits are dedicated as highways. The deposition will provide a degree of protection against claims for additional rights of way based on deemed dedication. It can be kept in force by the landowner submitting Declarations and Statements of Truth at intervals of no greater than 20 years. As from 1st October 2013 a new application form for S31(6) of the Highways Act 1980 has been combined with a statement under S15(A) of the Commons Act 2006. A fee of £150 is now payable with the application form. This is to be reviewed by cabinet later in October and any changes to this amount will be reimbursed if necessary.
On acceptance of the application notices are posted on site and the information is added to the register for public inspection.
Gloucestershire Local Access Forum (GLAF)
This forum consists of interest groups such as walkers, cyclists, equestrians, disabled users and landowners. It advises the county council regarding access to the countryside and public rights of way matters. If you would like to find out more, or are interested in joining the forum email GLAF@gloucestershire.gov.uk
View the GLAF meeting papers on-line
How can I volunteer?
To become a path volunteer email gccHighways@amey.co.uk and we can put you in touch with your local group, or contact your parish/town council.