WELSH ELEPHANT: Wales launched a £4m advertising campaign across the British Isles and Germany on January 25 to promote the Wales Year of Adventures writes Stuart Fisher.

Sailing, sea kayaks, kite surfing, narrowboats, paddleboarding and rafting are all mentioned, along with many other activities.

The campaign is for activities involving 'air, land and sea'. Note that the phrase is not 'air, land and water'. Apart from the Tryweryn and Wye, locations on the inland rivers of Wales are ignored.

The campaign has dropped the claim for Wales to be seen as the world's Adventure Capital, Wales and England being seen around the world as the benchmark for how bad river access can get, particularly for canoeists and rafters.

Defra and the Angling Trust take the line that there is no right of access for boats on most inland rivers.

Successive Ministers in Westminster and Cardiff have claimed that they do not know what the law says, even though they are responsible for its administration.

It is now 12 years since leading access authority Douglas Caffyn placed online (caffynonrivers.co.uk) his evidence that the right of navigation has never been withdrawn from rivers in Wales and England, inviting anyone to produce evidence to the contrary, which nobody has done.

The Welsh Government says it will look at the river access situation this year, perhaps with an eye on the modern access legislation which has been in place in Scotland since 2003.

The delay in publishing the Green Paper on the subject, due in April 2014, has not helped.

Maybe the Welsh Government should have stated clearly whether they have any evidence that the right of navigation on Welsh inland rivers has been withdrawn before advertising for the public to undertake adventure activities in Wales.