Since its launch in Autumn 2009, Mud Pies has worked with hundreds of families, many schools and several partner organisations including BBC Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Techfest in September and the University of Aberdeen.

The idea for Mud Pies grew out of a love of nature, and long experience of helping children learn more about the natural world. It also came about as a direct result of its creator Mandy Tulloch welcoming two little wonders of nature into the world herself.

She said:

I think it was only after having had children myself that I really appreciated how much they learn at an early stage, and how fantastic it is to be a part of that. After speaking to lots of other parents, I felt there was a real need for an activity for younger children that encouraged them to get outdoors, get active and explore nature.

Mandy at Mud PiesZoology graduate Mandy previously worked at the University of Aberdeen’s Natural History Centre, where she co-ordinated a range of educational opportunities for young people.

Following the birth of her second child, Mandy decided to strike out on her own with the creation of Mud Pies.

A member of the Scottish Green List 2012, Mud Pies holds an Aberdeenshire Environmental Forum Green Butterfly Award for 2011 and was business category winner of the Aberdeen EcoCity Awards 2010.

Mandy is also a trainer for the educational charity Learning Through Landscapes Scotland and was a director on the board of the previous environmental charity Aberdeen Greenspace.

All activities include a chance to muck in and make mud pies, which Mandy believes epitomises a great childhood.

She said:

At an education conference I attended, the guest speaker asked the audience what they remembered most about playing outdoors and everyone piped up with ‘mud pies’. I think it is great for children to spend time outside just playing. It’s high time we brought back mud pies!