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Public rights of way

Covid-19 Update:

Please note that, during this time when unnecessary movements are discouraged, access to Main Reception and the Map Room has been restricted. We apologise for any inconvenience caused, but would appreciate your understanding at this very difficult time. A representation of the Public Rights of Way network is available online; however, it is not the Definitive Map.

Covid-19 information:

People living in close proximity to public rights of way are reminded that the public have a legal right to use a public right of way, and that they should not block or obstruct paths. Some paths pass close to residential properties, and in some cases through gardens, but with sensible precautions there is no reason that this would increase the risk to householders of contracting Coronavirus.

Public rights of way provide an opportunity for local people to take exercise and get some fresh air in these difficult times. However, people should not be making special journeys to access them, and should not congregate on public rights of way. If there is a particular problem with people congregating on a right of way then the Police should be informed who have powers to disperse such groups.

It is also important to stress that people should not be making special journeys to access them. Travel to exercise is NOT essential travel and people should not be travelling to do their daily exercise. Please see the latest government guidance on access to green spaces.

Where residents living near public rights of way have concerns then they should exercise suitable precautions to ensure social distancing from people on the path. They may also want to regularly clean any gate latches or other surfaces on any paths across their property.

The county council will work with the police and other agencies to take any further actions necessary in the event of any changes to legislation or Government guidance, however, at this time there are no plans or legal means to close public rights of way or the cycleway/ walking trail networks for COVID-19 related reasons.

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 Public Right of Way online

You can use the Public Rights of Way (PRoW) form to report a problem with:

  • a sign
  • an animal
  • an obstruction
  • overgrown vegetation
  • the misuse of a path
  • cropping
  • ploughing
  • a structure on the path
  • the surface of a path

If you have any other issues please contact highways@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Please note the update service is temporarily unavailable - we apologise for any inconvenience.

Temporary closures

Public rights of way are sometime closed temporarily. Click the button to see the current list.

Temporary closures of public footpaths and bridleways

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 highways@gloucestershire.gov.uk (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 modificationorders@gloucestershire.gov.uk.

List of Current Diversion/Extinguishment Orders - PPDOs
(under Section 118/119 of the Highways Act 1980)

Current (not yet completed) PPDOs - at 20 February 2020

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.

To query a Diversion/Extinguishment Order email: highways@gloucestershire.gov.uk

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.
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.

If you prefer you can use the Ordnance Survey Election Map

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 for both dispositions is payable as follows;

Highways Act 1980 s31(6) depositions and renewals

  • £200 for landholdings up to 2 hectares in one locality
  • £500 for landholdings over 2 hectares or in multiple locations

Commons Act 2006 s15A(1) landowner statements

  • £400 per landholding up to 10 land parcels
  • £100 for each additional 10 parcels up to a maximum of £700

Download the application form and guidance notes here

On acceptance of the application the information for both types of deposition is added to the on-line register for public inspection and for Commons Act statements only notices are put up on site.

View the Section 31(6) and Section 15(A) register on-line

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 highways@gloucestershire.gov.uk and we can put you in touch with your local group, or contact your parish/town council.

Help us improve Highways

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