Law and Practice

13-15 November 2018
Knuston Hall, Northants

Rights of way law and practice covering the definitive map, modification and public path orders, maintenance and enforcement provides the foundation for any rights of way officer or ranger.   A manager responsible for rights of way functions should also be aware of the basics of what their team can and should accomplish.

Whatever your job in public rights of way and access, knowledge of the basics of the law and practice are essential to ensure you avoid costly consequences of acting in ignorance of the wider implications of what you say or do. The best solution is to know how not to make those errors in the first place.

Even if your job is only one element, such as public path orders, you should still be aware of how anything you do or say may have an impact on the work of your colleagues such as agreeing a route that will be difficult to maintain or conditions that cannot be enforced.

All the staff here who attended the recent Law & Practice course have come back with really positive feedback about it and things they learned are already proving useful to all of us in the team. Worcestershire County Council, 2017


Post-introduction, aimed at officers with nine months to a year in a rights of way job.  This may include recent starters or anyone taking on an area of work new to them; as a refresher for officers in post some time but rarely encountering some situations, and for line managers looking to increase their appreciation of what their team is dealing with.

The course is designed for Rights of Way Officers, legal officers or solicitors, rangers or maintenance staff, and managers with overall responsibility.


Main topics

  • Duties and responsibilities of the definitive map and statement
  • Modification Orders
  • Public Path Orders
  • Asserting and protecting the public right
  • Maintenance duties and powers
  • Enforcement duties and powers
  • Doing the best job you can with no resources

Learning Outcomes

  • Clear understanding of the primary duties and powers
  • Awareness of the consequences of unlawful action
  • Knowledge of good practice
  • Appreciation of the complexity of the law and avoiding poor practice

Tuesday          Definitive Map and Modification Orders
Tuesday late     Public Path Orders
Wednesday a.m.    Public Path Orders
Wednessday p.m.    Maintenance
Thursday       Enforcement

Times to be confirmed but likely:
Tuesday 10.00 to 18.00
Wednesday  09.00 to 18.00
Thursday 09.00 to 16.30


Helen Denton has been a Definitive Map Officer with Hertfordshire County Council for over twelve years.  She has extensive experience of evaluating evidence and applying the legal tests in processing modification and diversion orders.

Graham Rusling has been involved in Countryside Management and Public Rights of Way for more than twenty years, currently as Public Rights of Way Manager for Kent County Council.


Knuston Hall
NN29 7EU

Knuston Hall is an adult education centre in central England. Set in attractive grounds, it has a bar, television rooms and en suite bedrooms with tea/coffee making facilities.

The Hall is off the A45, thirty minutes from the A1 or M1, and four miles from Wellingborough rail station, which is less than an hour from London St Pancras on the East Midlands main line. Buses and taxis are available from the station but pre-ordering is recommended.

Bed and breakfast the previous night may be available if enough demand and can be added to your course cost. Please enquire when you book.


All prices ex VAT
Three days residential
Members £705
Non-members £804

Single day
Members £255
Non-members £354

We do not operate online booking for security reasons so please contact for a booking form.