The Definitive Map and Statement are paper documents available to view at the County Council Offices, District and Borough Council Offices and some public libraries. The Definitive Map and Statement has recently been revised for South Staffordshire, Newcastle, Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Tamworth and Stafford, and the revision process is underway for Staffordshire Moorlands. Each district or borough receives maps for their specific area. It is a legal document and the inclusion of a right of way is conclusive evidence of the existence of that right of way, whatever its physical state may be.
However, the reverse is not true. A way not shown on the Definitive Map can still be a right of way, although its status would need to be proved. These routes are not publicly maintainable until such a time as they are recorded on the Definitive Map.
The Statement is a brief written description of the rights of way.
The County Council, as surveying authority has a duty under Section 53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 to keep the Definitive Map and Statement under continuous review.
Once a Definitive Map is published, it becomes a legal document. Any amendments to the Map either to change the particulars of a route shown, or to add or delete a path from the Map, can only be achieved by a Map Modification Order.
If any person has evidence to suggest that the Definitive Map is in error, he/she may submit an application under Section 53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, for the Map to be modified:
- to show that a right of way exists over a way not shown on the map at all
- to delete a right of way from the Definitive Map and Statement on the ground that it was included in error;
- to downgrade its classification where its status has been incorrectly recorded;
- to correct and error in the Definitive Map or Statement without changing the status of the way.
You can search for modification order applications with the Rights of Way Modification Application Register
Modification orders do not create new public rights of way. Where there is the necessary evidence that a public path already exists, a modification order may add the path to the Definitive Map. Similarly, Modification Orders may reclassify, delete or modify highways already shown on the Definitive Map.
In each case, the County Council is under a duty to investigate the matters stated in the application and to decide whether or not to make an Order to modify the Definitive Map. The applicant may appeal to the Secretary of State if they decide not to make an Order.
Applications made under Section 53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, are handled by the Director of Law and Governance, Martin Street, Stafford, ST16 2LE
Rights of way - On the map
If you wish to see public rights of way on a map in Staffordshire, please visit our interactive mapping facility. (Please note, this is for information only. It is not the Defintive Map.)
Viewing the Definitive Map
Please note that the Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way in Staffordshire is available for inspection, by prior arrangement at:
No. 1 Staffordshire Place, Tipping Street Stafford ST16 2DH
There is no charge for this service. Please note that no interpretation can be offered on the Definitive Map.
Single extracts are available at a cost of £5.50 up to an A3 sheet. Payments may be made by cheque to Staffordshire County Council or by credit or debit card over the phone.
Copies of the complete Definitive Map and Statement for South Staffordshire District, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough, Cannock Chase District, East Staffordshire Borough, Lichfield District, Tamworth Borough and Stafford Borough are available. Please email our Rights of Way Department on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a viewing time.