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About the Definitive Map and Statement

Information about the Definitive Map and Statement, the legal record of public rights of way.

The legal record of Public Rights of Way is called the Definitive Map and Statement (DM&S) of Public Rights of Way. It is an important document that records the 2,600 miles of Public Rights of Way across every parish and town in Oxfordshire, plus those in the City of Oxford. You can view the Definitive Map and Statement online.

  • The Definitive Map shows the location of Public Rights of Way and also whether they are footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways or byways.
  • The Definitive Statement gives a description of the public rights of way, including any limitations or conditions such as width of route.

The DM&S is looked after by the Countryside Records team, who manage it by:

  • producing an accurate DM&S
  • keeping the DM&S and other associated documents available to the public
  • investigating applications to change the DM&S
  • processing legal orders that keep the DM&S up to date

Public Rights of Way declarations

Section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980 allows landowners to deposit with us statements and declarations describing any Public Rights of Way they acknowledge as already existing on their land. This may help to protect the landowner from any future claims based on user evidence that might be made in the future to record more public rights of way over the land

The DM&S for Oxfordshire has a relevant date of 21 February 2006 and is conclusive evidence in law of the particulars it contains.