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Muddy Faces

Published on 04.08.19 in Mud

Mud Day Photo Winners

Thank you to all the amazing people & groups who entered the Mud Day photo competition this year - all 50 of you!

First prize of £150 in Muddy Faces vouchers goes to

North Scarle Primary School, Lincoln, sent in by Grace McConnell

Often children who have additional needs are not supported or encouraged to interact with nature and natural elements i.e messy or outdoor play.

That's why we think this photo (above) is fantastic - the child looks like they have been really engaged in the mud play. This throwing activity I'm sure was great fun, and the amazing leaders are supporting this engagement in so many ways - protecting the specialised equipment, allowing children and equipment to become dirty, setting an example by getting their own hands dirty as well, to name just a few.

An amazing well done to North Scarle Primary school - check out the rest of their photos on the Mud Gallery.

Runners up & honourable mentions:

It goes without saying that choosing the winning photos was very difficult (especially with 150 to choose from!). So very difficult in fact that we decided to add a few more sections to the results.

When we run these competitions, we want to capture the elements of outdoor play as it happens - this often results in a slightly out of focus photo or a funny angle. We didn't judge the photos on their quality or composition, we're looking at the story the photo tells us.

With this in mind these are our winners for Muddy Faces mud photo competition 2019...

Runner up: £25 Muddy Faces voucher
At the allotment, Herefordshire - Sent in by Charlotte Blake

We challenge you not to smile when you see this photo - the laughing is infectious - the freedom of being young, and being with supportive adults who know how important it is to have time to just be and connect with nature.

Such fun! Thanks Charlotte.

Runner up: £25 Muddy Faces voucher
Brompton-Westbrook Primary School enjoying a Forest School session at Ranscombe Farm Nature Reserve, Kent - Sent in by Claire Staples

We love the adventure in this photo - challenge. risk taking, problem solving. And there is tons of physicality - climbing, sliding, balancing, not to mention emotional development, communication, support, trust and determination.

We also wanted to mention that the girls are as interactive as the boys - girls are often under-represented in this sort of messy adventure play.

Well done Brompton-Westbrook!

Honourable mentions:

The photos below all get a Muddy Faces honourable mention - each one representing the joy of mud in their own way.

In celebration of all these amazing mud experiences we've designed a mud medal - in the Olympics it would be bronze, silver or gold - we're putting mud at the top :-)

We'll be sending mud medals to all our Mud Champions. Congratulations!

Best bake off. Sent in by Hannah Veillet. This 'chocolate conker cake' mud kitchen creation, by seven year old Tilly, is the most realistic mud creation we have seen! Yum yum yum...

Best bake off:

Sent in by Hannah Veillet

This 'chocolate conker cake' mud kitchen creation, by seven year old Tilly, is the most realistic mud creation we have seen!

Yum yum yum...

Most mud coverage. Sent in by Rose Hoare. Two people, the only skin showing is on their faces!

Most mud coverage:

Sent in by Rose Hoare

Two people, the only skin showing is on their faces!

Expression explosion, sent in by Phil Davies, Essex. The face on the chap on the right gets us every time!

Expression explosion:

Sent in by by Phil Davies

The face on the chap on the right gets us every time!

Muddiest teddy. Sent in by Beki Herzberg. No explanation needed!

Muddiest teddy:

Sent in by Beki Herzberg

No explanation needed!

And finally...

Jan White writes in Making a Mud Kitchen that there is little more important in our physical world than earth and water, and they are truly intriguing things, especially when they interact.

This is described by Julia Wilson from Kingswode Hoe School, Colchester, as she writes about C who has global developmental delay and mild learning difficulties.

"However, when we are in the woods, her love of nature has seen her self esteem grow massively. C found her passion when she was introduced to playing with mud. She spends most of her time at Forest School making mud cake, mud soup, mud biscuits - anything she fancies! The reason I chose this photo is because I love the look of pure focus and concentration on C's face. She takes her work seriously and gets fully immersed into her mud creations. The pride on her muddy face after a session is always a real delight and therefore I wanted to nominate her."

Mud Gallery:

The competition is now closed, but we'd love to keep building our Mud Gallery, to show the world the amazing range of opportunities, fun, play, learning and creativity that mud and messy play can offer.

If you would like your photo to be added to the Mud Gallery send an email, with subject heading Mud Gallery, to

Remember to tell us your name, your project's name if there is one, your location and any other details you'd like to add.

Click here to take a look at the Mud Gallery & all the amazing photos that were sent in.

Outdoor Hub:

The Outdoor Hub has a wealth of inspiring activities, events and information. Each section has been designed to encourage engagement in the outdoors, connection with nature, and to help spark imaginative play and creativity.


Welcome to our Mud page! Come and explore mud and the whys, hows and wherefores of mud play, along with some inspiration for bringing mud and messy play into your setting.

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