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)
I am always amazed that badger cubs when they first emerge do so on wobbly legs for a minute or so around midnight…by the end of the week they are emerged from 10pm until 3.50am playing with each other and exploring the surrounds.
I now believe that the 5 cubs in the video below belong to one female as I have seen other females accompanied by other cubs in ones and two’s
The badger cubs have become more confident and less wobbly on their legs! the images on each of the cameras bar one have doubled with the cubs in and out of the badger setts from 10pm until 3 am.
I am pleased to record that we have 5 cubs in one sett ( video below) and two in another sett and await developments on the third sett that I am currently watching
There were a herd of fallow deer here yesterday including the young stag in the video below who was making good use of his antlers
I espied very briefly a stoat this morning hunting around our smallest pond at a rapid rate.
More badger cubs emerge between 11pm and 12.15am!! I have four cameras looking at 4 badger setts, three of them recorded the following badger cubs the other camera appears to have run out of power.
I have seen many birds feeding around the entrances to badger setts:
The bird in the video is in super condition
Warm days and -3c nights, heavy dew, lots of blossom … cherry, pear and plum with the apple blossom not far behind, so spring is definitely here but summer is still in the distance.
The badgers were feeling friendly last evening well… three of them were.
Warm days 17c cool nights 2c badgers made an early emergence last evening no wind etc so 7.30pm
An interesting video below of a badger “de-parasiting ”
The kestrel in its nest is under attack from what appears to be two crows, previous videos to the one below depicted the 54 minute build up to the attack
The crows did not come back after being chased away by the kestrel
The badger emergence is now after 8pm
My old friend the albino fallow deer with her entourage were in our orchard this morning
One of the Jays spent nearly an hour picking up morsels from around one of our active badger setts I have recently seen thrushes, and a green woodpecker feeding of the bugs as well, they all have to get there before the Jackdaws and Crows which are normally there at day break.
The badger emergence is now nearer 8pm than 7.30pm
I saw my first Skylark here yesterday and the first pair of swallows arrived this morning… does that mean summer is here?? the lowest temperature last night was 33F
A very close up view of a fallow deer stag that was around here yesterday 9th April …in the video below:
Last nights badger
We now have a pair of Jays here again in 2014 after one of a resident pair was killed and eaten last year by a kestrel.