The Definitive Map and Statement is a legal record of rights of way. Every surveying authority (usually the county council or unitary authority) keeps an up to date map and statement which records all of the rights of way in their area. We keep the Definitive Map and Statement for Nottinghamshire, which contains the details of over 2,500 km of rights of way.
What the map shows
The Definitive Map shows the location of all the recorded rights of way in the county on a base map of the area. The Definitive Statement accompanies the map and provides extra information about the rights of way such as a description of the route, the start and finish points and general direction, the status (footpath, bridleway, byway, restricted byway), length as well as surface type and width of some of the routes.
You can use the Definitive Map and Statement to find all the recorded rights of way in your area and you can be sure you have a legal right to use any of the paths shown. It is also used by our officers to check locations of rights of way for planning applications.
But, perhaps most importantly, it records all of the rights of way in the care of the Council. It’s our job to make sure these paths are open and easy to use.
Viewing the map
You can come in to our office in West Bridgford, Nottingham to view the map and statement, free of charge, during normal office hours. Please contact us in advance to let us know when you’re coming in so we can make sure a member of staff will be available.
You can view a non-definitive map of rights of way in Nottinghamshire online at: www.rowmaps.com. Please be aware, this is not the legal record of rights of way in Nottinghamshire, and you should not use this to make decisions about the route of a right of way through a property, for example. If in doubt, please contact us.
For recreational maps we recommend the Ordnance Survey Landranger or Explorer series, available from Ordnance Survey, in bookshops and for reference in County Libraries. Find out which Explorer maps cover different parts of Nottinghamshire [PDF 388 KB].
Making changes to the Definitive Map and Statement
You can apply for changes to be made to the Definitive Map and Statement through a Public Path Order or a Modification Order. These are used to add rights of way to the legal record, or add additional rights to a path (e.g. to change it from a footpath to a bridleway).
Find out about more about making changes to rights of way and the Definitive Map and Statement.
Viewing details of outstanding claims for alterations to the definitive map
You can view all outstanding claims for alterations to the map and statement online. Each claim is handled by one of our officers – you will find their contact details, along with other information on each claim, in our claims register. Use these details to contact them for additional information or guidance on what to do if the claim affects your property or interests.
The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949 required local authorities to compile a Definitive Map and Statement of their public rights of way.
So in the 1950s the parish and town councils of Nottinghamshire carried out surveys of the land in their area, in which they recorded and described all of the paths that they believed to be public rights of way.
This original map and statement, drawn and written by these councils, is known as the Parish Schedule.
From this information, we produced the Draft Definitive Map and Statement for Nottinghamshire. This was sent to all parish councils and advertisements were placed in the local press. The adverts encouraged landowners and path users to check the draft map and object if they felt that a path was incorrectly drawn, that the status (e.g. footpath, bridleway or byway) was incorrect; that a route shown was not a right of way or that a path had not been shown.
The outcome of the consultation on the Draft Definitive Map and Statement resulted in amendments, which we incorporated into the Provisional Map and Statement. The Provisional Map and Statement then went through another consultation process. After incorporating these changes, the first Definitive Maps of public rights of way were drawn.
These are always being updated to show additions and changes to the network.