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Public rights of way

How to claim a public right of way not shown on the definitive map

Although the Definitive Map and Statement are conclusive evidence that a public right of way exists, it may be the case that a route which is not shown on the map is nevertheless a public right of way, and should be shown. Anyone may claim such a route as a public right of way by making an application to have the route added to the Definitive Map. In order to establish such a claim, it is necessary to collect evidence from witnesses who can establish a period of use which, when assessed with other users, shows a cumulative total of at least twenty years’ uninterrupted use of the way as of right and unchallenged.

There may be other errors on the map, such as a public right of way being recorded as a footpath, when it may have been used as a bridleway for many years. If a member of the public believes that a public right of way has been incorrectly recorded, an application may be made to change the Definitive Map. Any application to change the Definitive Map, whether by adding to it or by varying existing information shown on it, must be supported by documentary evidence and if necessary, by written statements.

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