Welcome to Essex
× Public Rights of Way Coronavirus Update
04/02/2021
Latest News

The PROW network is currently under significant pressure from the increase in usage caused by lockdown coupled with a period of sustained rainfall this winter. 

Whilst enquiry volumes remain well above average there may be some delay to investigation, assessment and responses to enquiries relating to all aspects of PROW, Highway Records and Public Path Order work. Urgent safety-related enquiries and works remain our priority in order that we focus on keeping the network safe.

During a period of extreme wet weather, please understand that there is little we can do to alleviate surface issues until water levels subside. We would always advise wearing suitable footwear and to avoid the worst affected areas, if possible. 

Due to a higher than normal volume of enquiries currently being raised regarding our Public Rights of Way network we are currently prioritising safety related issues for inspection. Please be aware that all non-safety related reports will be addressed as resources become available.

Read more

Public Rights of Way

There are almost four thousand miles of Public Rights of Way in Essex, comprising footpaths, bridleways and byways.

We have a statutory duty to record and keep public rights of way open.

Our team providing this service comprise of the Definitive Map and Records team, the Localism, Liaison and Enforcement teams, the Inspection team and the Operations and Delivery team. We all work together to assert and protect your public rights of way network. 

Use these pages to find out more about the services we provide and the works that we undertake.

About Public Rights of Way in Essex. Includes user responsibility and types of rights of way.
Find out more about byways in Essex.
The PRoW User Group meets three times a year, at County Hall. It is a forum for all classes of user and representatives of their various organisations, aimed particularly at addressing specific issues across the rights of way network as highlighted by the group members themselves.
We publish a number of guides to walks along public rights of way throughout the county. These guides are made available as downloads, free of charge.
Gates, stiles and similar structures on paths are the means by which the public can cross fencing, hedges or walls. They are deemed to be an obstruction unless authorised, find out more about applying for gates and stiles.
Find out more about Landowner Deposits (made under Section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980)
Find out more about Network Rail's proposals to manage the possible closure or change of use of around 130 level crossings in Anglia across Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex, Havering, Hertfordshire, Southend and Thurrock.
Find out more about applying for permanent closures or diversions of an Essex right of way, including why it may be needed.
We have dedicated specialist teams that work on our PROW network who are skilled in working in the countryside. Their work is produced by our PROW Inspection team who answer your enquiries and conduct condition surveys of the network.
Find out more about the locations of the Essex Public Rights of Way by using the interactive map
View the Public Path Notices regarding changes and restrictions on the Public Rights of Way in Essex
Please provide us with some feedback about your use of the Public Rights of Way network
Essex Highways carries out a number of actions to ensure that Public Rights of Way are kept in good order.
About temporary closures or diversions in Essex including why it may be needed and how to apply for a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order
Vegetation cutting of the natural seasonal upgrowth on our PRoW network is undertaken between April and October, find out more
Find out about Public Rights of Way in Essex and information on joining a local Public Rights of Way volunteer group.