Enjoy a peaceful, relaxing, self-catering holiday in a secluded mobile home situated in the heart of the countryside.Spectacular views across Cotswolds and floodlit badger-watching facilities within 50 metres of the accommodation
You will enjoy THE EXCLUSIVE use of our three badger-watch hides during your stay
at College Barn Farm, Sibford Gower, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX15 5RY
The conservation project at College Barn Farm commenced in 1987 when Richard & Sandra Butt bought the farm. It includes the planting of trees and shrubs as well as encouraging and, as far as possible, protecting and preserving the resident wildlife.
Their aim is to establish and sustain a Eight-acre wildlife area containing as many different varieties of trees and wildlife as possible, with badger setts and four ponds included within this area. The provision of mobile-home accommodation and badger-watching facilities for visitors not only helps to fund their conservation project, but also enables other wildlife enthusiasts to share their enjoyment of such. With the help of Badger-Watch visitors, they are able to protect the badgers by observing their setts daily and the badgers most evenings by floodlight from two heated hides and a recently established third hide.
Badger-Watch provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing, self-catering holiday in a secluded mobile home situated in the heart of the countryside. They can watch badgers and other wildlife at night by floodlight from a warm hide (exclusively for their own use) which is very conveniently situated only about 50 yards away.
A nosy fox caught on camera at College Barn Farm
During the day there are many other varieties of wildlife, from small birds to grass snakes to roe/fallow/muntjac deer (subject to the season) to be observed at College Barn Farm. One visitor spotted a total of 47 different kinds of birds during her stay, which included kingfishers, woodpeckers, sparrow-hawks, buzzards, kestrels and owls.
About twenty or so badgers, including cubs, currently live in the setts (including an artificial sett) and are regularly viewed – unrestricted by glass – at close range by visitors sitting quietly in the hides.
The main hide, which is heated and can seat four persons, is on ground level at the entrance, but 10ft. above ground on the viewing side where the field below (containing the setts) slopes away. During the winter of 2009 a balcony was added which allows our visitors an elevated view of the badger setts and the surrounding area day and night. Watchers usually leave a trail of peanuts from the setts up to the hide and very soon after dark, the badgers come up for their breakfast. They can be clearly seen as there are two floodlights mounted above the hide. These don’t seem to bother the badgers in any way.
A second hide, which is sunk into the ground and seats three/four is situated by the end of the largest pond. This location provides an unrestricted eye-level view of the badgers from the front of the hide and and a view along two ponds from the side window. Photography flaps are located to the front and side of the hide. This hide is also heated and has two reclining seats and two cushion seats. The third hide, constructed in 2006, is situated further down the badger-field on the extremity of the lower badger sett. It, too, seats three/four persons. (details of the hides including photographs can be seen under wildlife notes 2007)
The badger emergence is between 7.15 pm and 8pm between 8 and 11 badgers are being seen together at one time.
This years male cubs have now left their birth sett and moved about20 metres away.
Some interesting contrasting colours of fallow deer seen here over the past 24 hours in the photographs below.
(please take no notice of the dates on the photos as the cameras have succumbed to water/damp ingress making the dates and time immovable!!)
11 badgers all emerged at the same time last night, they cleared up all the available food and then went of foraging. (2 hours after their emergence)
In the short video below the heron is nowhere near any water and also in a very difficult take off area for such a large bird. I have noted this heron in about 6 unusual places where you would not expect to see a heron, seemingly looking for food.
One of those places was amongst trees and when my springer spaniels chased the heron it uttered a most awful screeching sounding noise before it managed to get into flight and away from the danger, I wonder why it is taking such huge risks??
I briefly saw the albino fallow deer this morning amongst our trees, they carefully managed to avoid all of my cameras!!
The badger emergence is around 7.45pm with up to 10 badgers being seen feeding together by 9pm
One of our visitors very kindly sent me the following images of some of the wildlife that he saw here during his stay here.
Many Many thanks to Des Lloyd for letting us use some of his wildlife photographs that he took here last week.
Do badgers eat plums?
Badgers are not the only wildlife to eat the fallen Victoria plums!
My video camera captured footage of:
A green woodpecker
Maggpies *4 during the day
Grey squirrel in the afternoon
Badgers every evening from 9pm until 4.16am
A Fox @ 2.47am
Fallow deer early evening (rubbing against the plum tree to get the ripe plums to fall)
Black birds @ dawn
A very active grey squirrel
A fairly large flock of Canadian geese dropped into one of our barley stubble fields this morning to pick up any remaining grains of barley.
How many are there?
Badgers and fallow deer just before it started to rain on the evening before the Monday Bank Holiday
A Badger either dressing up for an occasion or trying to be different and it looks like the dominant boar badger to me.
Three of the fallow deer are in the first video below,the fawn of the largest lightest coloured and largest deer can be seen in the last video below, I disturbed it on my dog walk just after 6pm. The fawn was lying under a leylandi tree by one of our ponds, it ran off when it saw my dogs!!The fawn can be seen in the last video very cautiously returning two hours later to the rest of the herd.
I spotted this partridge acting in an unusual way yesterday, so much so that I gabbed my long distance camera and took the following video footage.
Keep your eye on other movements in the barley stubbles!!
The badgers were in a playful mood last night!!