Changes to the path network

Bluebells in St Julian's Park

A legal order is required to create, divert or close a public rights of way.

A change to the path network process is used to list a public right of way (PROW) that was not originally recorded on the definitive map but which it is believed should be added because of continuous undisputed use. 

Temporary public right of way closures

  • Temporary closure order - used for planned works and events
  • Emergency closure notice - used for unplanned and emergency works

Download an application for the temporary closure of a PROW (pdf) 

Public path orders

Public path orders are used to alter an existing PROW and for diversions and extinguishments.

A public path order can be used for public safety reasons or because of development.

Download an application for a public path order (pdf) 

Modification order

A modification order is used to add new public rights of way, change or alter an existing route and to delete routes from the definitive map.

As research and evidence is required, modification orders can take a long time to process. 

Modification order guidance 

An application for a modification order under section 53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 must be based on evidence that the route should always have been recorded as a public right of way.

An application made on the basis of desire or need, or a request to change the status of the path will not be valid.

Applications must be accompanied by evidence, either:  

  • Documentary evidence - proof that the route should have been recorded on the council’s definitive map of PROW at the time that it was drawn up, or that its recorded status is incorrect. The evidence should not have been previously considered at the time of the making of the definitive map 
  • User evidence - proof that the landowner has dedicated the route as a public right of way, either by expressed or deemed dedication. This would take the place of either a formally made agreement or invitation to the public to use the route, or by permitting such use of the route for a long period of time. Use by the public should be freely available and without need for secrecy or the granting of permission by the landowner. 

1. Download and complete Certificate I (pdf) - this is your form of application for the Modification Order. One person must take the lead and complete and return one copy of this form, marking the claimed route on the plan. 

2. Download and complete Certificate II (pdf) - complete this form with the names of all the people who have been served with a copy of Form of Notice for Modification Order (Certificate III) and return it to us. 

3. Download and complete Certificate III (pdf) - this form needs to be completed and served on the landowners and occupiers on whose land the claimed path crosses.

4. PROW evidence forms - to be completed by each individual user of the route which should be marked on a plan.

Evidence forms should be completed in each individual claim and not as a collection.

5. Supporting evidence - you may also wish to submit additional supporting evidence such as tithe maps, enclosure awards, planning documents, railway plans, and definitive map information. 

Download and complete a PROW evidence form (pdf)

Please return certificates I and II together with the user evidence forms in one submission to aid the claim process.