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)
Badgers, buzzards and foxes
The videos below show the fox trying its hardest to take the road kill rabbit before giving up and going to the orchard to eat some of the last years fallen apples (second video)
The third and fourth videos are of buzzards taking a meal off the rabbit during the day time.
You will note that both buzzards do not feed on the rabbit at the same time! my guess is that one buzzard keeps guard sitting up a tree while the other feeds and then vice versa.
The buzzards easily identified as a pair by the white feathers on one of them.
The badger emergence is around 6.20pm, lots of comings and goings from the setts with one badger always left at the individual sett on guard.
I have had a camera watching “Cocky” the fighting pheasant(who did not turn up this morning to peck and attack my back) and have noted from the camera videos that the badgers are eating the well ripened fallen apples that have been on the ground for 3 months. The badgers are feeding on them every night for at least 4 hours.
A rainless and nearly windless evening and night which enabled the badgers to change bedding and return to their setts dry for once.
The badgers in the videos below show their agility and bravery when it comes to finding a microscopic amount of peanut butter that sticks a peanut to the outside of the tree trunk.
Thrushes, wood peckers robins and blackbirds are all busy preparing for the spring breeding season, I just hope that we do not get a late fall of snow.
“Cocky” the cock Pheasant followed my grass mower around the orchard yesterday for over half an hour with the occasional attack by him on one of the front wheels of the mower, he seems to think that although I feed him a hand full of barley every day that I AM COMPETITION with him for HIS ENTOURAGE OF HEN PHEASANTS
Can badgers climb trees? watch the video below?!
Two badgers at a time climb the tree support
Busy badgers at the moment, with a tremendous amount of association going on between them, I am picking up on videos frequently the type of association depicted in the short video below. There are also associations (but not often) whereby badgers are forcibly rebuffed by the occupant of the sett.
The badgers seem to have moved from two setts to at least five setts with two or three badgers in each sett, I am more than interested in seeing how many badger cubs are produced this year.
Cocky the pheasant got too cocky yesterday and what I thought was a friendship seems to have turned from his point of view into a fight, as he had a go at me yesterday with his spurs.
The badgers were very active once again last night with comings and goings from just after 6pm until about 5am this morning, they know when it is going to rain and topped up their bedding in the setts from a bale of straw that I provided for them. Yesterday was the best day weather wise for a week with little to no rain fall which also enabled me to “catch up on outstanding work within the wood.
We had a valentine day visit from so many good looking females I was spoilt for choice and deer oh deer I nearly lost my footing trying to record them all on my mobile phone camera (see video)
The badgers were out of their setts last night at 5.45pm and were back in their setts by 7am with lots of movement to and fro. It was a tremendously windy afternoon and evening with gusts of wind here around 75mph! My afternoon dog walk in the sunshine was unbelievably difficult as I had great difficulty keeping on my feet.
I have been having a daily conversation for the past 2 weeks with cocky the pheasant who appears to be trying to communicate with me and today he started taking food while I videoed him from 3 feet away.(watch the video)
A clear night and a slight frost early morning and guess what was caught on camera under the soft moonlight????? The content of the video is a rarity and to have sound as well is a bonus, the time of the action would have been around 4am this morning (ignore the time etc. this camera has had water inside and works ok but no adjustments possible)
The thrush was singing this morning and blackbirds are starting to look busy.
A surprising badger emergence in daylight yesterday which made it a long night as the last badger went back to the sett at 6.02am
The wild wet and windy weather continues unabated!
I have had close up sightings of Red Kites , Buzzards and a Kestrel who have all been taking full advantage of the wind to obtain free flight
It looks as if the badgers kept the foxes at bay (away from their cubs) I have seen (briefly) on a camera image that one of the foxes has lost its tail.
I have not seen a fox on camera since the invasion.
The latest video of the invaded badger sett is below which shows the badgers very much on guard to the main sett entrance.(ignore the time and date on this camera footage)
The badger emergence is now 6.18pm and badgers still on camera at 6.27am.
I heard a thrush sing this morning a month or more early?