Rights of way – helping you discover East Sussex

Two lambs
Two lambs


Online map:

Ordnance Survey (OS):

  • Explorer maps are the main maps used by walkers and riders. They show lanes, footpaths and rights of way, including 'right to roam' access areas as defined by the Countryside Agency.
  • Landranger maps will be more useful for those on weekend breaks or travelling longer distances by car.

Explorer and Landranger maps can be borrowed from your local library. See our libraries page: Finding the map you want.

You can buy maps from the Ordnance Survey website:

Report a problem

We are responsible for looking after the surface of a right of way, but the landowner is responsible for making sure it is unobstructed.

Our online fault reporting system allows you tell us what and where the problem is. You can also attach a photograph:

Open Access symbol
Open Access symbol

The Definitive Map

The official record of all public rights of way is the Definitive Map and Statement. Together, these documents show the legal line of rights of way in East Sussex.

For more information, including viewing the Definitive Map or making a Highways Act 1980 section 31(6) deposition, see our pages on the Definitive Map – rights of way in East Sussex.

Who can go where? An explanation of terms

A right of way is a route across privately owned land that the public are legally allowed to use. There are around 2,000 miles (3,200 km) of rights of way in East Sussex.

The different types of rights of way, and who can use them, are listed below.

  • Public footpath – for use by walkers only. You can use a pushchair or wheelchair on a footpath, although the nature of the path means this may not be possible.
  • Public bridleway – can be used by walkers, horse riders and cyclists. Cyclists must give way to walkers and horse riders.
  • Licensed footpath – a private path along which the landowner has agreed to allow public access to walkers.
  • Licensed bridleway – a private path along which the landowner has agreed to allow public access to horse riders and walkers.
  • Byway open to all traffic – sometimes referred to as Byways, BOATs or Green Lanes. Can be used by motorised vehicles, horse-drawn carriages, cyclists, horse-riders and walkers.
  • Restricted byway – can be used by walkers, cyclists, horse riders and horse-drawn carriages.

Temporary path closures list

Occasionally, we have to temporarily close a public right of way to protect the safety of path users.

Open Access land

You can walk freely on mapped areas of downland, heathland and registered common land, as well as mountains and moors. Find out more and view maps of open access land in England:

Volunteer in the countryside

Become a parish rights of way volunteer, help us get rid of Dutch Elm Disease or find out how to become a tree warden:

Countryside Code

Educational resources and information for land managers are included in the Natural England website:

Contact us

For further information or to report a problem with a right of way, contact the Rights of Way Access team.