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Tottenham children Meron Gezahen, two, on the left and Ella Yonatan, 18 months, were among the first in the capital to get a new “pop up” play shop which brings the great outdoors to the inner city.

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Youngsters at the Mud Pie Etc drop-in sessions are encouraged to get their hands dirty and make dens, play with trees and plants – and bake the odd mud pie.

The High Road group - the first of many planned and funded by London Play as part of their wider Taking Nature to the Street initiative - is the brainchild of Paul Hocker, who wanted to give inner-city children access to the countryside play.

He said: “Children can benefit so much from playing with nature but the opportunities they have to get to green places on a regular basis are very limited so we thought, let’s bring nature to them.

“For all the fantastic toys and computers children can get their hands on these days, there’s still no substitute for being outdoors and playing with friends in a natural environment.”

The pop-up play shop, in partnership with Haringey Play Association, opens every Monday from 10am – 12pm. Entry is free and everyone is welcome.

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