Definitive Map Modification Orders

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


A Definitive Map Modification Order may be applied for by anyone who considers that a public right of way is either:

  1. Not recorded on the Definitive Map and Statement, or
  2. Recorded on the Definitive Map and Statement but should be shown as a way of a different status, or
  3. Recorded on the Definitive Map and Statement but should no longer be recorded.

A DMMO can be applied for under the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Applications must be supported by evidence of use or evidence contained in historic documents.

Download a Modification Order Pack below.

This pack provides advice and how to make a Definitive Map and Statement modification application by adding or upgrading a right of way. This pack alongside important guidance includes all the required forms.

Before making an application we recommend you speak to an officer in the Countryside Access Team. Contact details below.

Before applying to remove a path on the Definitive Map and Statement, please read Deletion or Downgrading of a Public Right of Way.

Download a Definitive Map Modification Order PackRegister of definitive map modification order applications

As 'Surveying Authority' Cornwall Council must keep a register of applications for Definitive Map Modification Orders. Made under Section 53(5) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

The default display of Cornwall Council's register is applications listed in priority order. With the highest priority application listed first.

View the Register of Definitive Map Modification Order ApplicationsFor further assistance and guidance using the register, please see the DMMO Register Help page. The prioritisation of applications is in line with the Cornwall Council Revised Policy Statement 2006.

Evidence

Although a presumption of dedication can arise at common law. Many claims involving user evidence are considered under Section 31 of the Highways Act 1980. Under this legislation, for deemed dedication of a public right of way to have occurred there must be evidence that the public have used the way as of right and without interruption for a period of 20 or more years. Prior to the date when the public's right to use the way was bought into question.

But, landowners can rebut a claim if they can show enough evidence of a lack of intention to dedicate the land during the period.

Download the Landowner/Occupier Evidence Form

To demonstrate a lack of intention to dedicate a right of way, a landowner can show that steps had been taken to prevent the accrual of public rights. Using Section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980.

Submitting an application for a Definitive Map Modification Order is a statutory process. Applicants, users and landowners may have to make statements. These statements will be considered as evidence by the Council to determine whether public rights of way exist over private land.

The outcome may depend on evidence provided by applicants. It is important for all potential applicants to understand that they may commit the offence of fraud Under Section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006 if they:

  • dishonestly enter information
  • make a statement that is, or might be known to be, untrue or misleading with the intention to make a gain for themselves or another person
  • cause loss or the risk of loss to another person

The maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment or an unlimited fine, or both. So, they may want to seek their own legal advice before making an application.

For further information please see A guide to definitive maps and changes to public rights of way - 2008 Revision (Natural England)

A potential applicant may seek advice at their own expense from a consultant specialising in rights of way. Cornwall Council do not offer this service.

Without making a direct recommendation or endorsement, The Institute of Public Rights of Way and Access Management (IPROW) website contains a list of registered experts who may help.

Please note: Cornwall Council accepts no liability for advice provided by an independent person. Any decision to use consultants is at an applicant's own risk.

Restoring the Record Project

Cornwall Council is working with its partners on a ‘Restoring the Record’ project. After 1 January 2026, historical rights to unrecorded paths and any unclaimed higher rights created before 1949 will be extinguished. This cut off date was set by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact your local branch of the British Horse Society, or the Ramblers.

All applications submitted under the auspices of this project must be in the prescribed format.

DMMO Reports

Documentation for current Definitive Map Modification Order reports are published on the DMMO Reports page.

Privacy Notice

Please follow the following link for the Privacy Notice for Definitive Map Modification Order Applications:

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