Wild, edible birds gather nearby.
Strange to be in these pleasant if manufactured time-sharing environs full of serenely driven SUVs stuffed with families of clean looking children and well fed Labradors. Yummy mums wear wellies and carry back packs with tough sounding names, dads tote boxes and Tesco bags filled with the essential outdoor shopping products. They are all so well prepared and organised. Occasionally the sun comes out and the damp green is bathed in the golden flakes coming at us from that distant star to remind us that it may be summer somewhere but not quite here. By then everybody is engaged in activities and experiences with ropes and paddles and taking hundreds of photographs to fill their hard drives from Milton Keynes to Motherwell.
We arrive to shatter (more like slightly wobble) that wilderness Sylvan illusion in the oldest and most battered car on site, like some version of a Tommy Saxondale family outing or Uncle Buck’s woodland holiday, under equipped for the wild and the wet, Pot Noodles bulging from bags and despite living in the country looking like prize townies on tour with a police car in pursuit. We lack that supreme badge of acceptance into this exclusive, shiny happy club, no bike racks on the back, no chunky cycles on display or garish high-vis helmets hanging on the coat rack. So we’ll just have to do a spot of pony trekking in our inappropriate shoes and jumpers and snap a few red squirrels.