A landowner may prevent the public from acquiring new rights over their land through use, by challenging that use.  Such challenge needs to be overt and brought to the attention of the public.


One option for a landowner to challenge use is set out in legislation.  This enables the landowner (or their agent) to send to the County Council a statement including a map, showing the extent of their land and what rights they admit exist over it.  The County Council is required to make such documents available to the public.

As of 1st October 2013, statements can be made in respect of either right of way, or village greens, or to cover rights of way and village greens.  Statements (declarations), but not necessarily the map, will need to be renewed every 20 years.

For rights of way, under section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980, landowners can deposit a statement (with map) acknowledging which ways (if any) they admit to having been dedicated as highways, and as such will be a challenge to the public’s use of any other way.  The statement can be followed by a landowner’s declaration to the effect that no additional way has been dedicated.  Such a declaration will be sufficient evidence to negative the intention to dedicate additional ways as highways.

For village greens, under section 15A of the Commons Act 2006, landowners can deposit a statement (with map) which brings to the end any period of recreational use ‘as of right’.

View the s31 & s15A deposit application CA16 form. (PDF 201kb)

Applications will need to be accompanied by a fee to cover the council’s costs of logging the application, making it available on our website and paper register, and placing Notices on site.  If Notices need to be placed at more than one location, there will be an additional charge per notice. Please note that these charges will be reviewed annually.

If you have any further questions, contact us:

Phone: 0300 123 4047

Email: row@hertfordshire.gov.uk    or    commons&greens@hertfordshire.gov.uk