Harriet Rix grew and attended school in Devon. After a childhood spent climbing trees and trespassing across Exmoor, she travelled across Greece and Turkey, before going on to study Biochemistry at Oxford.
Harriet then moved to Istanbul, learning Turkish and writing for Cornucopia magazine, and starting a long-term love affair with Eastern Turkey and Iraq. This prompted her to read for an MPhil at Cambridge in the History and Philosophy of Science, specialising in Ottoman Science and taking classes in Arabic. She then returned to Turkey, and worked in landmine clearance with UK charity, the HALO Trust, and Danish Church Aid, later becoming Liaison Officer for a US Department of State sponsored IED clearance programme in Iraq.
The terrible effects of environmental degradation that she witnessed in Iraq prompted her to join the tree sector, and in 2018 she returned to the UK to try to learn about the world of trees in this context. She studied the work of the botanist and environmental historian Oliver Rackham at the Parker Library in Cambridge, before joining the Tree Council as Science and Research Project Manager, funded by Defra, to work on tree strategies, tree diseases and hedges. She was secretary of Hedgelink, the national advisory board on hedgerows, and a 2021/2022 London Library Emerging Writer.
Harriet is a long-term collaborator with Robin Lane Fox, the Financial Times gardening columnist and acted as scientific advisor on Adrian Grenier’s climate documentary, forthcoming in 2023. Her pictures and articles have been published in the Financial Times, the London Review of Books, the Fence, the TLS and the Alpine Garden Society Journal. She is a trustee of the Iraqi environmental charity Hasar.