The Definitive Map - Recorded Public Rights of Way
The Definitive Map and Statement (DMS) for West Berkshire
The West Berkshire Council Second Consolidated 'Definitive Map and Statement' (DMS) was published on 1 March 2019 and replaced the previous DMS for the area that had been published 2000.
The DMS provides conclusive evidence that the Public Rights of Way (PROWs) shown upon them legally existed on 14 February 2019 (the 'relevant date'). If there's a court case, a planning dispute or some other reason that legal proof of the existence of a PROW is needed, the DMS document is used.
If a route isn't shown on the DMS, it doesn't necessarily mean that a PROW didn't exist at that time; evidence may come to light showing forgotten or historic PROWs that should be added, or showing that new PROWs have come into existence through long use by the public.
As there may have been legal changes to the PROW network since publication of the 2019 Definitive Map, the DMS needs to be consulted alongside all legal orders made since that time to form a complete record.
Whilst the DMS shows which PROWs have been legally recorded, for a more general view of the routes in your area, you may prefer to consult our online map (our unofficial working copy of the Definitive Map), our (our unofficial working copy of the Definitive Statement), or an Ordnance Survey map.
Creating or Removing a Public Right of Way
Public Rights of Way (PROWs) are protected by law, and the only way they can be diverted or removed ('extinguished') is by a Public Path Order.
Creating new PROWs comes about as a result of a legal order or agreement, or by dedication by the landowner (either intentionally, or unintentionally if the public are able to use a route for a long time without challenge). Landowners can also apply to prevent dedication of PROWs in the first place.
If you have questions, need further advice, or would like to arrange an appointment to view the Definitive Map and Statement, contact the Definitive Map Officer.
Applications to Modify the DMS
Applications can be made to change the DMS if you think it is incorrect.
We keep a Natural England Public Rights of Way bookletthat shows current applications to modify the DMS - maps to accompany each application in this register are available for download below. For more information on the process, see the following:
For information about making an application please contact the Definitive Map Officer.