Public Rights of Way

Hartlepool Borough Council is responsible for 60 miles (96km) of public rights of way.  Some of these may be surfaced and many are tracks and paths across the countryside.

The network includes:
Footpaths: only for use on foot
Bridleways: only for use by horseback, bicycle and on foot
Byways: for use by motor vehicles, horseback, bicycle and on foot

To find out more about where your rights of way are you can find them on the Definitive Map or Ordnance Survey's Explorer 306 and Landranger 93 maps. 

Copies of the Definitive Map are held at the Central Library, which can be viewed during library opening hours.  You can also view this at the Civic Centre but only by appointment.  Contact details below.

Many enjoyable routes around the Borough are included on our Walking in Hartlepool page.  You can also get a copy at the Tourist Information Centre, Libraries, Summerhill Visitors Centre and the Historic Quay.

For general information about public rights of way visit the GOV.UK website.

Changes to the Public Rights of Way 

Public Rights of Way can be created, diverted or extinguished through a legal process.  These changes are updated onto the Definitive Map and Statement through a Legal Event Order so that the recent diversions and creations become visible, as the legal record changes.  Extinguishments are taken off the Definitive Map and Statement using the same process.

You can apply for changes to be made to the Definitive Map through a Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO).  These are used to add unrecorded rights of way to the Definitive Map or  add/change additional rights to a path (e.g. to change it from a footpath to a bridleway). 

Current register of DMMO Applications

For DMMO application form please contact below 

The Rights of Way Improvement Plan 

The Rights of Way Improvement Plan and Maps 2007 (ROWIP) and associated maps has been produced and approved in accordance with the Countryside and Rights of Way 2000 and takes account of guidance issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The maps are available to view via the following link, but for a copy of the plan please contact us on the details below.

The ROWIP will be reviewed in 2017 and a consultation process will take place across the Borough.  Your views will be important and welcome.  

Rights of Way Improvement Maps 2007 

Declarations under Section 31 (6) of the Highways Act 1980 

Section 31A of the Highways Act 1980 requires authorities to set up a register of declarations lodged, maps and statements deposited under section 31(6) of the 1980 Act as outlined in DEFRA's Guidance for the register of Highways Act Declarations.

These declarations and statements enable any landowner to formally acknowledge public rights of way across their land and by doing so also indicate their lack of intention to dedicate any additional rights of access.

Landowners step by step guide

Declarations Register

Partnership working with River Tees Rediscovered (Heritage Lottery Fund Landscape Partnership)

In 2011 Hartlepool Borough Council became a founder partner to the River Tees Rediscovered (RTR) Landscape Partnership project application.  This is a Heritage Lottery funded (HLF) project that looks to fund a wide range of work relating to access to nature, skills training and community involvement within the River Tees corridor and environs.

In 2014 RTR was successful, unlocking £1.9 million of funding from HLF.  One of the main RTR projects is the creation of the North Tees Trail in collaboration with other partners - Stockton Borough Council, RSPB Saltholme, Natural England, Environment Agency and Tees Archaeology.  This Trail will run on part of the same route as the proposed sections of the England Coast Path (between Seaton Common and Port Clarence).