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.  

Many enjoyable routes around the Borough are included in the new Self-Guided Walking leaflets.  You can also purchase these 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 our team below 

The Rights of Way Improvement Plan 

The Rights of Way Improvement Plan 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 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 any public rights of way across their land and by doing so also indicate their lack of intention to dedicate any additional rights of access. 

The process for depositing a statement and map was revised on 1st October 2013 following the coming in to force of Statutory Instrument 2013 No 1774.

The major changes made were:

  • There is a new application form.  Applications to add deposits, maps and statements will not be accepted unless they comply with the requirements of the prescribed form.
  • Deposits made after 1st October 2013 are valid for 20 years (previously 10 years)
  • The Council will charge a fee for the receipt of any new deposit.
  • To discuss the fees or any other matter relating to a s.31(6) deposit; please contact us using the phone or email as shown below.

Declarations Register