Definitive maps online
Published: 24 January 2009Rights of Way shown on Ordnance Survey maps aren't necessarily exhaustive, and they may not always be accurate as changes to the Right of Way network made between map editions don't make it on the map. In England and Wales, the local authorities (unitary authorities or counties) are required to maintain a Definitive Map and Statement on paper, which is both definitive and up to date and must be publicly accessible. In National Parks, this may be delegated to the relevant National Park Authority. The rules in the other four jurisdictions covered by Geograph Britain and Ireland are different, and the above doesn't apply there.
In addition to the Definitive Map and Statement on paper, many local councils offer an online version of their Rights of Way map. These online versions aren't definitive in the legal sense but are meant to reflect what is shown on the Definitive Maps. In many cases, these also show temporary closures and diversions. Some also show rights of way furniture, such as gates, stiles and bridges. Online maps may also include 'list of streets' data, which should identify which minor roads or green lanes are public highways (see the discussion on ORPA for more information).
Below is a list of links to online versions of Definitive Maps of local councils in England and Wales. In some cases it is necessary to accept terms, but no registration or payment is necessary in any case. A few councils have also made copies of the Definitive Statement online.
A number of local councils have made their data available to the public, and the website rowmaps provides a tool to view these data in several different mapping media.
The list is based on posts on the Geograph forum. If you would like to add information, please either post to the relevant forum thread or contact me by email through Geograph. Similarly, if you find that a map link no longer works or the menus have been changed, please drop us a line.
- Bedford (select RoW from 'View Map Layers', then click 'Display on Map')
- Bracknell Forest (pdf files by parish in side menu)
- Calderdale (Click 'Map layer selector' in the menu above the map, then select RoW from 'Transport and Streets')
- Central Bedfordshire
- Derby (pdf files by former parish)
- Derbyshire (RoW are in 'Environment' layer)
- Dorset (Click on 3rd icon down on the right, then on 'Countryside': includes minor highways)
- East Sussex
- Hampshire (RoW data also downloadable in kml and ESRI formats)
- Herefordshire (includes minor highways)
- Isle of Wight (pdf files for 86 tiles covering the whole island)
- Kingston upon Hull(6 pdf files by path number)
- Milton Keynes ("Redways" are routes for cyclists & pedestrians - not horse-riders)
- Norfolk (includes other highways)
- Northamptonshire (RoW are in 'Add Feature/Place' and then 'Transport and Streets'; includes minor highways)
- North Lincolnshire (pdf files by parish)
- North Yorkshire (includes minor highways)
- Nottingham City (RoWs are in 'Highways' layer)
- Nottinghamshire (Health warning - This online copy is over two years out of date)
- Oxfordshire (142 pdf files for each 5K by 5K square)search for a place in Oxfordshire's Definitive Map
- Poole (pdf file, 1.1MB)
- Portsmouth (pdf files for 9 tiles covering the city)
- Salford (RoW are in 'Map Layers' - 'Misc')
- Staffordshire (RoW are in 'View Map Layers'/'Leisure and Culture'; click on 'Public Rights of Way' and then click 'Display on map')
- Surrey (RoWs and highways are in 'Roads and Transport' layer)
- West Berkshire
- West Sussex (click Map features and tick Paths and Permissive Paths)
- Windsor & Maidenhead (RoW are under 'Transport and Streets')
- Sir Benfro / Pembrokeshire
- Gwynedd within Snowdonia National Park
- Wrexham (separate adopted roads map)
Acknowledgement. Hugh C, Keith Edkins, Bob Embleton, Ben Gamble, ceridwen, Richard Greenwood, Derek Harper, Andrew Henry, Dave Hitchborne, David Lally, Alan Murray-Rust, Nigel Mykura, Ian Rutson, Kevin Beeden, Evelyn Simak and Amy Malcolm supplied various map links.
This article is now open for collaborative editing. Please add or update any local authority RoW mapping sites that you come across.