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Zakiya Mckenzie crouched on forest floor

Zakiya Mckenzie

Meet Zakiya McKenzie, journalist, academic, and emerging nature writer.

‘Forest Collection’ is inspired by her time talking with those who live and work in the nation's forests. 

Zakiya's poems

Notebook and pen on green grass
Writing in the forest is affirming. It owes me nothing and didn’t ask me to say these things
Hand holding bunch of leaves
Dulwich in London is where I came into this world. This I do not recall but have made up memories in my head from the pictures I have seen.
Looking up
There are only three tree-climbers in Forestry England. They scale the tallest of trees, grooming and look after them. The tree-climbers know all the trees at Westonbirt Arbouretum personally. Fascinating!
Silhouette of forest at pink sunset
In the Dean, to have had your first amourous experience in the forest was to get your ‘fern ticket’
Close up of blackberry flower
She checked to see what time it was. Looking up at the sun, she smiled because the rainclouds that had splashed the morning seemed to have moved on.
Eerie trees in the forest
A cobalt sky blanketed the morning and pockets of hazy sunshine beamed through morphing openings in the canopy high.
Mine entrance black and white
“Mining has been around since time out of mind,” I am told my Deputy Gaveller Dan Howell.
Hand holding piece of wood log

Discover more about Zakiya's residency

Sun through the trees

What do forests mean to you?

Take a moment to add your letter, poem, story or memory to celebrate the trees in your life