Making changes to the definitive map

The map can only be changed by legal order. There are two ways to make changes:

1. Definitive map modification orders (DMMO)

If evidence is discovered which shows that a path or way:

  • is not recorded
  • is shown with the wrong status (e.g. a path is shown as a footpath but it should be a bridleway)
  • is shown along the wrong route
  • should not be shown on the definitive map

a definitive map modification order (DMMO) can be made to correct the definitive map and/or statement, under provisions set out in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

As the Surveying Authority for Devon, the County Council is legally required by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to keep the definitive map and statement of public rights of way under continuous review and modify them if there is evidence that they are incorrect. We achieve this by carrying out a parish-by-parish review across the county. For more information see Definitive map review.

Additionally, you can formally apply for a DMMO if you consider that the map requires correction. Before doing so you should check our register of DMMO applications on the interactive map to see if there is already a claim there.

There is no charge for a DMMO application as it is in the public interest that the definitive map and statement are correct and up to date.

Find out more and apply for a DMMO here.

Please also read our information about the definitive map 2026 ‘cut-off date’ for historic paths.

2. Public path orders

If a public right of way is correctly recorded on the definitive map but there is a reason to divert the path you can apply for a public path order. Public rights of way can be diverted in the interest of the public or the landowner. New paths can also be created by public path order, usually by agreement with the landowner. You can find out more about diverting a path at Divert or temporarily close a right of way.

For more information about how to make changes to the legal status of public rights of way please see ‘A guide to definitive maps and changes to public rights of way’, published by Natural England.