About the definitive map and statement
The definitive map and statement are the conclusive legal record of the existence, status and location of all recorded public rights of way in Suffolk at the relevant date of the map. The relevant date is the date on which all confirmed legal orders were last consolidated to produce a new up to date sealed definitive map. Under sections 53 and 57(5) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Suffolk County Council has a statutory duty to maintain and update the definitive map and statement, and to make them available for inspection by the public.
The definitive map shows public rights of way at a scale of 1:10,000cm (approximately 6 inches to one mile), and the accompanying definitive statement describes the routes shown on the map. The statement also sometimes defines the widths of routes, and describes "limitations" such as stiles or gates, though it does vary in the amount of detail it includes.
The working copy definitive map is divided into parishes to make it easier to view, and is updated to show the changes to public rights of way when a confirmed legal order comes into operation. You can view a plan of the definitive map parishes (PDF, 2.4MB) This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format. Each map has a key showing the line symbols representing categories of public rights of way and the parish boundary, and also shows the route number given to each individual public right of way.
The following parishes do not yet have their own definitive map:
- West Row and Beck Row, Holywell Row and Kenny Hill - see the Mildenhall map
- Darmsden - see the Barking map
- Exning - see the Newmarket map
- Red Lodge - see Herringswell and Freckenham maps
We are working to consolidate the definitive map for the whole of Suffolk on a digital map base. Parishes that have not yet been digitally consolidated have older background mapping and hand drawn annotations showing the effects of confirmed legal orders.
The definitive map does not show:
- who owns the land - public rights of way can, and usually do, run over land that is recorded as being privately owned
- private access rights - the records do not show private rights of way, which may co-exist with public rights of a different status. For example a landowner may have a private right to drive a motor vehicle along a public bridleway
- permissive rights - we do not maintain a record of permissive rights of way as these are a matter for the landowner
- open access land - land designated as open access land is recorded on Ordnance Survey Explorer Maps and you can find more information on our page about open access land and the right to roam
- cycle tracks - these are recorded on the List of Streets
The following legal events can result in amendments to the working copy definitive map and / or statement:
- a confirmed definitive map modification order (see information about changing the public rights of way network below)
- a confirmed public path order (see information about changing the public rights of way network below)
- a public path creation agreement (see information about changing the public rights of way network below)
- a deed of dedication by Suffolk County Council
- a confirmed cycle track conversion order
- a side roads order
Where can I see the definitive map and statement?
Paper copies of the maps, along with the definitive statement, can be viewed by prior appointment at the locations below. Please contact us to make an appointment:
- Map and statement - Phoenix House, 3 Goddard Road, Ipswich, IP1 5NP
- Map and statement - West Area Rights of Way Office, Rougham Industrial Estate, Rougham, IP30 9ND (Monday and Wednesday only)
- Map only - Ipswich Borough Council, Grafton House, 15-17 Russell Road, Ipswich, IP1 2DE
Contact the Definitive Map team with any enquiries about the definitive map and/or statement, or regarding particular routes.
Please be aware that due to volumes of correspondence and the amount of research that may need to be undertaken, responses to straight forward requests may take up to 20 working days, and more complex requests may take up to 8 weeks.
If the parish clerk does not hold a copy for their parish we can provide one to them on request.
View the working copy definitive map and statement
You can view each parish map online on the A to Z section of this page. These files may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.
The scanned image of the map on this website will be updated within one week following an amendment to the original working copy definitive map. (Copies of confirmed legal orders will remain on the public notices web page until the scanned image of the working copy definitive map has been updated).