Public Rights of Way

Public rights of way (PROWs) are legally protected paths that the public has the right to use for walking, running, cycling, or horse riding. Find out more here.

Venture into the heart of Knowsley and discover a network of Public Rights of Way (PRoWs), designated paths that offer a unique opportunity to connect with nature and immerse yourself in the region's rich heritage. These pathways, spanning approximately 53 kilometres, provide access to diverse landscapes, from peaceful woodlands to scenic country trails, offering a haven for walkers, runners, cyclists, and horse riders.

Understanding PRoW classifications

PRoWs are categorized into four distinct types based on the specific rights granted to the public:


Primarily intended for pedestrians, footpaths are often surfaced with pavement or gravel, providing a comfortable and accessible route for exploring the countryside.


Designed for both pedestrians and horse riders, bridleways offer a wider and more rugged terrain, often featuring gates or stiles for controlled access.


These paths accommodate a variety of non-motorised traffic, including pedestrians, horse riders, and cyclists, offering a versatile option for traversing the countryside.

Restricted Byways

While allowing all forms of non-motorised traffic, restricted byways prohibit vehicles from making anything other than a slow and careful passage, ensuring the preservation of the path's integrity.

Permissive paths

Beyond the officially designated PRoWs, landowners may also grant permission for public use of their private land, creating permissive paths. While not legally binding, permissive paths offer an informal alternative for enjoying the countryside. It's advisable to seek permission from the landowner before using a permissive path, as they may impose restrictions or guidelines for safe and respectful use.

A landowner proposing to create a permissive path should take legal advice in relation to:

  • the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and
  • the duty of care that landowners are required to extend to visitors on their property


The maintenance of PRoWs is shared between landowners and the local authority. Landowners are responsible for keeping the route free from obstructions and maintaining gates and stiles. The local authority, as the Highway Authority, is responsible for ensuring the overall condition of the path, including clearing surface vegetation, authorising stiles, gates, signposting, and way marking.

Issues can be reported on the following number and email address:


0151 443 3100


Development and PRoW considerations

During any development project, it's crucial to identify and respect the presence of PRoWs. Obstructing or altering a PRoW is a legal offense that could delay or hinder the completion of development plans.

The government website here offers guidance notes on this issue.

Landowners and the council making additional routes

Landowners and the Council can make available for public to use in the following ways:

Public Path Creation Agreements

  • Where the Council and a landowner agree they can enter into a public path creation agreement under Section 25 of the Highways Act 1980 for the voluntary dedication of a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway as a highway maintainable at the public expense.
  • The landowner can specify the status of the route they wish to dedicate, for example, footpath, bridleway or restricted byway and include existing limitations such as gates, stiles or width restrictions in the agreement. 
  • The Council will require anyone dedicating a new route by a creation agreement to show that they have the power to do so. This usually means supplying proof of ownership of the land in question.
  • Notice of a creation agreement must be advertised in at least one local newspaper
  • The power to enter into a creation agreement is a discretionary one.  When deciding whether to enter into a creation agreement the Council will take into account factors including the benefit to the public of the public right of way which the landowner will dedicate, and the costs to the Council of bringing the right of way into public use.

Public Path Creation Orders

  • Where a new public right of way is needed by the public, section 26 of the 1980 Highways Act gives local councils compulsory powers for the creation of footpaths,  bridleways and restricted byways.
  • Under section 28 of the Highways Act compensation may be payable to any relevant parties for loss caused by a public path creation order.
  • When deciding whether to make a public path creation order the Council must consider both:
  1. the extent to which the path or way would add to the convenience or enjoyment of a substantial section of the public, or to the convenience of residents in the area; and
  2. the effect that the creation of the path would have on the rights of those interested in the land, taking into account the fact that compensation may be paid parties who suffer loss as a result and balance the public interest in the path being created against the private interest of the landowner/occupier.
  • A creation order can be unconditional or subject to limitations or conditions.
  • Anyone may object to a creation order.  If objections are lodged and not withdrawn, the Secretary of State will call a public inquiry or a public hearing to determine whether the creation order should be confirmed.
  • If a creation order is confirmed the route will become a highway maintainable at the public expense.

Land protection / Landowners Deposits

New Rights Of Way can be created through 20 years of unchallenged public use of paths.  However Section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980, allows landowners to show that they accept the Public Rights Of Way already recorded over their land, but, do not intend to dedicate any new ones by depositing a Statement and plan with the Council.  Within 20 years a landowner may deposit a Highway Declaration to confirm that no new Rights of Way have been dedicated since the date of the deposit of the map and Statement.  Any public use of the land during this period will not count towards the establishment of a new Public Right Of Way.  These Landowner Deposits are available for public inspection.

Section 15A of the Commons Act 2006 now allows landowners to protect themselves against claims for village green rights over their land, in a similar way.  The deposits under these two sections have been combined into Application Form CA16, and landowners can use all or only part of the form, depending on what rights they wish to claim.  The forms need to be renewed every 20 years.  

The application Form CA16, including Guidance notes, can be found on the following government website here.


There is a charge for registering the Landowner Deposits to cover the Council’s costs of logging the application, making it available on our website and register, placing notices on site and sending notifications, in line with the regulations.

For details, please see the Council’s webpage here.

Register Section 31(6) Highways Act 1980

The Council is required to keep a public register of highway statements and highway declarations that have been deposited under Section 31(6) of the 1980 Highways Act.  These statements and declarations enable landowners to formally acknowledge public rights of way across their land and, in doing so, create a presumption that they have no intention to dedicate any further routes across their land.

The Register contains deposits received since 1 October 2013.  

Each deposit can be viewed below, or the paper copy can be viewed, by appointment. 

To arrange an appointment or for any other enquiries, please contact us 

Register 31 (6) and all submissions Deposit Date Site Notices: CA17
- - -
2017/2 7/6/17
2017/1 7/6/17
2017/2 18/12/17
2017/1 18/12/17

Apply for a Definitive Map Modification Order under Section 53(2) Wildlife Countryside Act 1981

You may wish to apply for a definitive map modification order (DMMO) if you have evidence that:

  • A path or way that you and others have been using as a right of way for years is not shown
  • A path shown with a particular description should be shown as a highway of a different description, for example where a footpath has been used for many years by horse riders and you wish to apply to have it recorded as a bridleway
  • There is no public right of way over land shown in the map and statement of any description, or it is in the wrong place
  • Any other particulars in the map and statement require modification.

The evidence may be in the form of historical documents or use by the public, or both. The procedure is set out under schedule 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Before making an application you should check both the Knowsley Highways Map and the Applications Register (in the form of a table).

If you still want to make an application, you must:

  • Download the application forms and guidance notes
  • Gather your evidence, both documentary and from users of the route
  • Identify all the owners and occupiers of all land to which the application relates (this includes anyone that has land next to the route in question and anyone who may have access along it) and tell them that you are making the application by giving them a completed ‘Form B’ – the notice to be sent to all occupiers and owners affected by the application.

Please note that DMMO applications should not be made:

  • Where you think it would be a good idea to have a public path in a particular place
  • If you think that the path is not suitable for its current classification and should be changed
  • If you think that the path is not needed for public use.

Download the application forms and guidance notes 

Register Section 53 (5) Applications for Modification Orders under Wildlife Countryside Act 1981.

The Council is required to keep a public register of all outstanding Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO) applications.

Registers will be updated on a regular basis. The application and map for each case are scanned into a case file as adobe pdf documents. Applications are published in paper format, and electronically on the website. Case files are cross-referenced by a unique number to the file reference column in the registers (and path number).  This register can be seen below.

Information requests about any of these applications should be made by email at

Application reference

Name of applicant

Description of claimed route

Grid reference


Date of application

Date set for determination

KPROWA1 Deborah Susan King SJ 501885
SJ 506889
Whiston 16 October 2019 16 October 2020
KJPROWB2 Karen Jordan  SJ 46743 86303 to SJ 45803 87056 Halewood North 12 October 2022 12 October 2023
EDPROWB3 Ellie Davies SJ 47467 87492 to SJ 47028 87594 to SJ 46869 87881 Halewood North 29 September 2022 29 September 2023
DSKPROWB1 Deborah Susan King SJ 46878 89126 to SJ 46866 89329 Whiston 18 October 2022 18 October 2023
DSKPROWB4 Deborah Susan King SJ 46865 89331 to SJ 46603 89667 Whiston 8 January 2023 8 January 2024
CDPROWB5 Charlotte Ditchburn Beginning at Dacres Bridge Lane and extending south for circa 900m to Water Lane SJ 4685 8892 to SJ 4675 8813 Whiston & Cronton 9 December 2022  
CDPROWB6 Charlotte Ditchburn Beginning at Cut Lane and extending north easterly for circa 1100m along New Cut Lane to the Borough boundary SJ 45045 97383 to SJ 45791 98326 Northwood 20 December 2022  
CDPROWB7 Charlotte Ditchburn Beginning at Acornfield Road and extending circa 1.5km east along Boundary Lane SJ 43750 98971 to SJ 45306 98756 Northwood 22 December 2022  
CDPROWB8 Charlotte Ditchburn Beginning at Sandy Brow Lane and extending northwards for approximately 900m SJ 44395 97855 to SJ 44993 98498 Northwood 22 December 2022  
CDPROWB9 Charlotte Ditchburn Beginning at Netherley Road and extending north for circa 1.5km to terminate south of Tarbock Island SJ 45953 87741 to  SJ 46191 89237 Halewood North 22nd March 2023  

A4 copies of the Public Right of Way plans

These can be requested by

Payment details will be forwarded once this request is received.

Definitive map modification order (No. 1) 2024 

Public bridleways No. CR/13 and CR/14 (Cronton)

The above Order was made on 5th March 2024 under section 53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. If confirmed, it will modify the Definitive Map and Statement for the area by upgrading the entire length of Public Footpath CR/13 and part CR/14 to Bridleway status. 

A copy of the Order and Map may be seen free of charge during normal office hours at:

Knowsley Council, Invest Knowsley, Civic Way, Huyton, Knowsley, L36 9GD.

The documents can also be viewed here:

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