Tristan Gooley is an author and natural navigator.

Tristan set up his natural navigation school in 2008 and is the author of the award-winning and bestselling books, The Natural Navigator(2010), The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues & Signs (2014) and How to Read Water (2016), three of the world’s only books covering natural navigation. His latest book, due out just before Liquidscapes is Wild Signs and Star Paths.

He has written for the Sunday Times, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the BBC and many magazines.

In his keynote Tristan reveals the secrets of reading water. Drawing on stories of his pioneering journeys, from wild swimming in Sussex to Omani dhows via the icy mysteries of the Arctic, Tristan explains how to spot the clues, signs and patterns in the water all around us. Tristan explains how to see a compass in a puddle, find meaning in glitter paths, decode rivers and read oceans like a Polynesian.

Tristan’s view of the natural world is unique in that it is about deduction, the art of finding meaning in what we see outdoors. He set up his natural navigation school in 2008 and is the author of the award-winning and bestselling books, The Natural Navigator (2010), The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs (2014), How to Read Water (2016) and due out in May 2018 Wild Signs and Star Paths.



Amy Sharrocks’ work spans a decade of investigating people and water, years spent in careful observation, noticing the ways this extraordinary substance seeps through our experience. In large public artworks for hundreds of people and intimate one-to-ones, she has swum across London, dowsed the capital’s rivers and travelled across Britain inviting people to step off dry land. Since 2013 Museum of Water has been described as ‘a mosaic of the universe’, and a chorus of voices, each drawing our attention to a different way of considering water.

In this Keynote Sharrocks considers the ways water shapes our days and challenges the construction of our built environments, which prize buildings and concrete over water and people, discounting experience and the water that surrounds us. She explores questions of hydrofeminism in the 21st Century, picks away at the problem of nostalgia in our water metaphors, and speculates for new value systems in order to make a different reckoning with the world.

Standing up for tides, swells and the pleasures of jumping in.   Against Dryness


Prof. Paul Murdin OBE is Senior Fellow at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, and had entitled his talk Extraterrestrial water and planetary landscapes

As everyone learned in school chemistry, water is H2O, its molecule made of hydrogen and oxygen.  These are two of the most common elements in the universe, and water molecules are abundant in space.  The water on Earth was, mostly, made in space, and came here when the sun and the planets were made by gas condensing from interstellar space, 4.6 billion years ago.   Comets are watery-rocky icebergs left over from this time.  Other planets have water, unless they are too near their sun and too hot, like the planet Mercury.  The planet Mars used to have water in abundance and its landscape shows dry lakes and river valleys, water-deposited strata exposed on the faces of cliffs, and the scoring of drainage beds by the most massive flood in the history of the solar system.  Most of its water evaporated 2 billion years ago in a global catastrophe of climate change, but Mars still has icy polar caps and seeping springs, as well as hoar frost in the mornings.  Pluto and some satellites of Jupiter and Saturn are covered in icy rocks, and one is entirely covered in ice sheets, floating on a deep ocean containing more water than there is on Earth.     The strangest satellite of Saturn is Titan, with rain, lakes and rivers – an entire hydrological landscape.  Only its ice floes are water-ice (H2O): the landscape is familiar because so similar to ours, but it is sculpted from liquid methane.  The search for extraterrestrial life is intimately connected to the search for water on other planets, and Titan exemplifies an earth-like planet in its pre-biotic aspects.

I will illustrate this tour of watery worlds beyond our own with pictures obtained by space probes, landers and rovers, the proxy humans that we have sent to explore our solar system on our behalf, to display to us what we would like to see for ourselves, tourism that, as yet, we cannot accomplish.