Modifying the Definitive Map

The Definitive Map and Statement is the conclusive legal record of public rights of way in the county. Because of this, changes can only be made by means of a Definitive Map Modification Order. This is a legal order, made under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which must be publicised and confirmed before it can take effect.

Modification Orders can be used to:

  • Legally record existing public rights of way which are not shown on the Definitive Map
  • Delete a route from the Definitive Map where evidence proves that it does not exist
  • Correct the status of a route (from footpath to bridleway, for example)
  • Record specific details such as the legal width of a route

Anyone can apply for a Definitive Map Modification Order, and provided they supply sufficient evidence to support their application, the council has a legal duty to investigate and decide whether it must make a Modification Order.

The whole basis for making Definitive Map Modification Orders hinges on there being sufficient evidence that the Definitive Map and Statement is incorrect and needs to be modified. It is essential to realise that no matter how desirable a change or modification may be, the council cannot act unless there is sufficient evidence that a modification order should be made.

For more information and guidance on the evidence required to make a good case for modifying the Definitive Map and Statement, please download research guidance information. You can also download a glossary of terms used in the research guidance.

For further information on Modification Order applications please call 01432 383550 and ask to speak to a Definitive Map modification officer or email

View current Modification Order notices

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