Meet the Team

As we often say in sessions, ‘team work makes the dream work!’, here’s some more information about our fantastic team members here at Mud Pie Explorers!

Take a look at who may be running your session with MPE:

team members

Nickie Corr: Founder and Managing Director

I started Mud Pies back in 2011 after many years in the women’s refuge sector and a short stay in mainstream education. With 25+ years of working with children with additional needs, including academic research into the needs of traumatised children. I am wholeheartedly focussed on connecting children with nature, their communities and their authentic selves.

team members

Donna Hewitt: Director

I’ve always been passionate about children playing in nature and spent many happy days with my children playing in the woods. I try to get out amongst the trees everyday, theres nothing better. When I found out that Mud Pies were looking for a new Director, I jumped at the chance, its amazing to hear about how the team are impacting lives everyday.

team members

Jess Chicken Woodward: Forest School Leader

With 10+ years of Forest School and alternative educational experience; holistic, child-centric learning with an added pinch of un-schooling is what I’m about! Allowing children the space to investigate their true self through PLAY; especially outdoors, in these times of technological-based life.

team members

Emer Clark: Outdoor Support worker 

I’ve worked for Mud Pies for about 1 year now and have supported a range of different groups. I love being in the woods, exploring and crafting! Working in a child-led, person-centered way is central to my practice and I enjoy supporting children to explore their thoughts, emotions and understanding of the world through engaging with nature alongside other team members!

Colleen Gough: Forest School Leader and Newport Site Manager 

I came to Mud Pies through a childhood spent living in a treehouse and a career in outdoor activities (high ropes, archery). In the spring of 2022 I started Mud Pies Newport so Wales can have some Forest School love too!

Jess Brown – Forest School Leader

I have over 8 years experience working with children and young adults through a trauma informed approach. This combined work has come from teaching in mainstream schools, coaching abroad and now enjoying the wonders of Forest School! I have a passion for supporting children in smaller groups to navigate the challenges young people face growing up in the ever changing world. Over the past year I have focused on working with SEN and additional needs and currently enjoying incorporating Makaton into daily work. I strongly believe everyone can benefit from time outdoors & it’s a joy to facilitate this through Mud Pies.

Mel HeadForest School Leader

I’ve been working with Mud Pies since qualifying as a Forest School Leader in 2020. I’ve worked with children, young people and families for 20 years and love spending time outside so this job is perfect! I love cooking on the fire, woodland crafts and am always on the lookout for the elusive woodpecker in the woods.

Nicky Sweetland – Forest School Assistant

I fell in love with Forest School during lockdown and I’m training to be a Forest School Leader. I’ve been working with Mud Pies since September 2021. I love being in the woods and watching the therapeutic effect it has on everyone. I also love cooking on the fire, woodland crafts and spotting wildlife.

Louisa Garvey – Forest School Assistant

Growing up surrounded by nature has led me to be passionate about the natural environment and motivated to share this joy with others! I love working at Mud Pie Explorers and supporting children to open their minds to the wonders of nature and the importance of caring for the natural environment.

Rachael Pouncett – Forest School Assistant

I’m a Volunteer with an absolute passion for Children’s wellbeing. I have been assisting with our SEND and preschool groups for over a year.
I’m continually amazed with the magic that Forest school brings. Seeing the children develop resilience, confidence and making such a strong nature connection brings joy to my heart.

Paula Selby – First school support worker

I just love being outside; exploring, making, being, cooking and learning;  I am also training to be a forest school leader. I’ve worked in secondary education providing pastoral support to neurodiverse students for the last 12 years. My areas of focus have been Autism, anxiety, mental health and safeguarding. I am quite new to being a team member at Mud Pie Explorers only having joined in June. I am looking forward to supporting everyone to find their happy place in nature.

There are more team members who work with us to provide the best forest school sessions possible, just watch this space for more details!