Mother kept an eye on her trio of cubs but they still had fun frolicking and playing with each other
It's a big world out there and these fox cubs take their first tentative steps outside their den but mum is close by to keep an eye on her brood.
The loveable cubs jump around and hone their pouncing skills on each other while their mother keeps a careful watch from the mouth of their home.
The playful activity serves an important purpose in encouraging the cubs to be competitive - an essential trait for the animals which must survive in untamed British countryside.
Amateur photographer David Renney, 54, witnessed the cubs playing and cuddling up to their mother before the family retreated to the home den.
He said: 'They are beautiful little things. I could watch them all day. They reminded me of domestic kittens - they are both high-spirited animals.
'All of the cubs had sweet little smiles on their faces. They looked like they really enjoyed their day out in the sun.'
The wild foxes were photographed at RSPB Saltholme, a nature reserve in Stockton-on-Tees.