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Definitive map and statement

The definitive map and statement is the legal record for public rights of way.

If a right of way is shown on the definitive map and statement, that is conclusive evidence in law that there is a public right of way as shown and that it has at least the status indicated, but without prejudice as to any question of additional public rights which may exist along it.

Each path is numbered according to the parish in which it is situated. The 'working copy' of the definitive map will be altered if the route of a path is changed by a legal order or if new paths are claimed, created or extinguished.

Viewing the definitive map

You can view the definitive map at the Definitive Map Team office at County Hall, Dorchester, during office hours, by appointment only. Please contact the Definitive Map Team at least two working days before.

A digital interactive 'working copy' of the map can be viewed on Dorset Explorer. The online version can be used for rough guidance, but do not rely on it without checking with us first. It is not the legal document and is often incorrect in small details. 

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