Welcome Radio 4 listeners! You have found your way to the home of natural navigation on the Internet. (A podcast of my walk with Evan Davies for the Today programme can be found here. The short article that I wrote to go with the interview and the video that accompanied the broadcast can be found here.)
The book reviews are starting to come in:
‘In a sat-nav dominated world, where GPS and a host of other acronyms designed to get us from A to B have overtaken paper maps, it is refreshing to meet someone who understands technology, but prefers to find his way by practising the rare and ancient art of using nature’s signposts, from puddle patterns to shadow lenghths… I’m hooked. Back at the beech, I make a mental note of emerging bluebell patches, forming an internal map that I’ll use to find my way around the wood.’ – Paul Evans, BBC Wildlife Magazine.
‘The perfect book for getting you started on your own adventure.’ – Ranulph Fiennes
‘Even if most of us are unlikely to have to navigate a wilderness, learning to read nature can enhance a walk in a city park or a stroll along the beachfront. Read this and you will never look at the sky or a tree the same way again.’ Clint Witchalls, New Scientist. You can read the full review here.
‘Gooley’s calm, contemplative authority on matters solar, lunar and celestial establishes his guru credentials – but it’s his revelations about the clues that lie scattered about the natural environment that really entrance: how puddles drying on paths, the shapes of sand dunes, the graininess of scree on the lee of a slope can all be enlisted to summon compass points to your horizon.’ Chris Bourn, Time Out. You can read the full review here.
There are also some reviews on Amazon.co.uk.
If you’re wondering what the picture above has to do with anything…
I gave a talk at the Goodwood Estate last night. It took place in a function room in the Goodwood Hotel, but the details were only finalised at the last minute and we were only able to give vague instructions and directions.
Fortunately, lots of people did make it. I confess to having had visions of people staggering around in the cold fog, accosting passers-by and wailing about a strange natural navigation event. The talk began by my declaring that those who had managed to find the the room, tucked away at the end of many sinuous corridors, must represent the cream of the navigational crop of West Sussex.