About us

Please note that we are not a retail outlet and only accept orders placed online or by telephone, fax or email.

Feedback: we aim to provide the best service possible and we can only do this if you let us know your thoughts and experiences.

For information about delivery and returns please see our terms and conditions page.

By email:

General enquiries: info@muddyfaces.co.uk

Orders: orders@muddyfaces.co.uk

Outdoor Hub enquiries: share@muddyfaces.co.uk

By phone or fax:

Tel: 0114 221 9617
Fax: 0114 281 1455

By post:

Muddy Faces Ltd
Farm View Works
4a Sheffield Road
Sheffield S12 4LT

The Muddy Faces story

an array of photogrphs celebrating muddy faces 10th birthday

In 2017 Muddy Faces celebrated it’s tenth birthday. Our founder Liz tells the story…

How Time Flies

“More than a decade ago, in February 2007, Muddy Faces outdoor resources website was launched. I took orders and packed boxes all from my attic room in a terrace house in Sheffield and a few weeks after the launch I discovered I was pregnant with my first son. Well, we have come a long way since then, not in distance, but in achievement.

logo to celebrate 10 years of Muddy FacesBelow are a few of my personal highlights and challenges over the last 10 years.  Many thanks indeed for all the support and encouragement over the years and I’m looking forward to the developments we have planned for the next couple of years.” Liz Edwards

The Muddy Faces Journey

2007: Launch of Muddy Faces outdoor resources website and the start of our continuing dedication to producing kits, guides and literature to help practitioners outdoors with a particular focus on Forest Schools.  Production of How To cards for using tools and lighting fires, and our Forest School Leader’s guide for using knives with groups.

2008: Where possible we begin to source products produced in the UK.

Little Union Jack

2009: We produce our very popular den building leaflet. We also move out of the attic room into a small warehouse.

2010: Son number two arrives and we start our Mud Campaign in collaboration with Jan White.  This is to encourage outdoor play and interaction with natural materials as a part of every child’s continuous provision in an early years settings, particularly through mud play and mud kitchens.

Making A Mud Kitchen CoverAn idea was born – Jan wrote and I designed a booklet – Making a Mud Kitchen – explaining a virtually cost free approach to setting up this type of play. We realised if we wanted the concept to become mainstream we needed to do more than just sell a few copies. I looked at how Muddy Faces could distribute it for free and with a bit of tightening the belt we produced 18,000 copies of the book and distributed 16,000 for free through early years conferences and training.

We also made the book available as a free download on our website. Making a Mud Kitchen has had almost 20,000 downloads since 2012.

As part of this campaign Muddy Faces continued to promote and celebrate International Mud Day on 29th June by adding further resources to our free mud pack.

butterfly with Union Jacks for wings2012: We start to produce our own wood products, handmade from materials sourced from sustainably managed woodlands in the UK. This has become an increasingly popular and expanding range. It’s amazing to know that by choosing a UK-grown wooden item you are supporting the viability and management of UK woodlands for future generations, whilst at the same time not depleting the world’s resources by buying an imported plastic toy. It is a difficult process to achieve, as every piece of our wood is lovingly cut by hand (not machine harvested), stored under cover, then turned into one of our products.

2014: We produce our first catalogue.  Each year we aim to dedicate space in the catalogue to help support people to get outdoors and the organisations that support this aim.

2016: The results of our mud campaign are becoming truly visible nationally and internationally.  Most early years settings now have access to play with natural materials if not a mud kitchen. Books have been written to support this type of play and large commercial companies now have at least ten types of mud kitchens to choose from.

mixing mud with muddy utensilsAlthough buying an all-singing mud kitchen veers away from the original concept of recycling and using children’s involvement in the design of the kitchen, it does show that the concept is now truly mainstream. Jan and I are extremely proud of what our campaign has achieved and very excited about the international response.

The Making a Mud Kitchen book has been translated into several different languages including Welsh, Portuguese, Hungarian, German, Spanish, Greek and Italian. In Italy it was printed and given away free with an early years magazine.

2017: We introduce the water droplet guide to our catalogue and website to show at a glance how waterproof an item of clothing is.

hub graphic2018: Our exciting new Outdoor Hub is launched, full of all kinds of inspiration – from free activity downloads to outdoor events listings near you and nationally, including training and festivals, plus research and information, and tons of external links. We hope that with your help this fantastic resource can grow – sharing & building the benefits of outdoor approaches for all.

Liz Edwards, Muddy Faces founder, has been involved in Forest Schools for more than a decade. She became a Forest School practitioner in 2001 and went on to set up a Forest School training company, enjoying supporting many people to become Forest School leaders.

In 2007 Liz launched Muddy Faces as a one-stop-online-shop for all the outdoor play & learning resources a Forest School leader or outdoor practitioner could need.

adult gathering bilberries

Being dyslexic, Liz has always migrated to working outdoors and, as many dyslexic people do, ended up running her own business.

Prior to becoming involved in Forest school, Liz has worked as an environmental educator for the Peak District National Park and as an outdoor pursuits instructor (SpSA climbing instructor and  Mountain Leader) both in the UK and abroad.

She has also had roles as a youth development worker for the Prince’s Trust, and as a mountain leader for youth development charity Raleigh International, spending 5 months in Namibia and 3 months in Chile.

The organisers of National Forest School Day talked to Liz in 2018, about her inspiration and love of Forest School. Read the short interview here.

The following 3 short films give a little insight into Liz and her family. The films are all made by Siren Films, creators of educational videos for early years professionals.

In the first one Liz and her oldest son take a walk down the local high street and we observe their adventures and conversations along the way.

Tristan – walking along the high street

In the second we can see how important mud is in the family. The little boy at the end sticking his finger in a muddy puddle is Liz’s son, of course! (this trailer is 1 min 37 secs, and free to watch)

Two Year Olds Outdoors

Finally the jolly laughing fellow right at the start of this film is Liz’s younger son – outdoors right from the start! (this trailer is 1 min 13 secs, and free to watch)

Babies Outdoors

Our ethos

By creating a family-friendly place to work, we have created a flexible, supportive business at Muddy Faces.  The majority of our staff, including founder Liz, work part-time with hours to suit their young families. This can bring its own problems, particularly in school holiday time, but it works.

The working environment is happy, everyone is passionate about children, the quality of the products and maintaining an extremely high level of customer service.

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