“We’re Going On A Squirrel Hunt,

We’re Going To See A Red One,

We’re Not Scared,

What A Beautiful Day…”

Cycling under a russet forest canopy, our soundtrack was the two of them chanting Michael Rosen’s We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, reworked to convey our squirrel-spotting mission. The eldest was singing sweetly, but the three year old, with no sense of volume control, was bellowing his words out like an 80s football hooligan.

It wouldn’t be the last time we’d wonder whether our noisy son could be deterring the very shy, bushy-tailed rodents we’d brought him here to see.

“The three year old, with no sense of volume control, was bellowing his words out like an 80s football hooligan.”

It was October half term and we’d come to the Isle of Wight to ride along the Red Squirrel Trail, a National Cycle coast-to-coast route, much of which runs along flat, disused railway tracks. These traffic-free sections especially appealed to us, as we wanted to enjoy a relaxed family cycle without a constant stream of cars whooshing past.