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Rights of way

We have responsibility for the definitive rights of way network within the borough, and we have a legal duty to protect the rights of the public in the use and enjoyment of the public rights of way in their area.

The network of rights of way are mapped and accompanied by a statement that describes the routes. This is conclusive evidence that the rights contained on that map exist. This definitive map is continuously reviewed and we have an obligation to keep the map and statements up to date.

Rochdale's rights of way network

With a total of 552 km, we have one of the largest rights of way networks in Greater Manchester. 80% are footpaths for use by the general public on foot, while 20% are bridleways and restricted byways for use by non motorised vehicles, horse back, cycles and on foot.

Permissive routes

A permissive route is where a landowner gives permission for use. We don't record these on the definitive map and the landowner can refuse access over these routes at any time.


Obstructing a definitive route is an offence. The obstruction could be a fence, wall or building across a route, the presence of a vicious dog, bull or other animal, or overgrown vegetation.


​0300 303 8884

Environmental Management
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