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 “dancing” again at play…one badger even comes back to make sure they have all been filmed?
The little muntjac and for once it is not afraid of the camera
The first rabbit I have seen with NO EARS (keep clicking on the image until it full sizes)
A change in the weather this week with heavy rain showers and fairly strong winds causing the odd branch to break off ash trees.
In the video below a family of Jays.
I have not seen the stag in the video below for 12 months or more and wonder how he gets his antlers over or through our boundary hedges which I had assumed were stock proof!!
I saw these 7 fallow deer which included the older albino and her this years fawn together with a near totally black fallow deer and four others (in the video below) running through my barley field yesterday morning at 6.30am, they disappeared so quickly that I was not able to take a photo or video. However wary though there were, they did just get videoed for 16 seconds in daylight(8.30am some 2 hours later) on one of my stationary motion activated cameras yesterday.
Two visitors to our smallest pond yesterday:
The brown hare stopped and posed for a short video
The grey Heron was looking for its supper
Lots of deer around this morning, I saw 6 fallow deer around the badger setts, one muntjac seen returning at speed back to Traitors ford cover at 5.30am and the albino fallow deer seen in the distance (two fields away) at 6am with her fawn just before the incoming mist obscured them.
The badger cubs are nearly full grown but having a tough time finding worms as the weather is just too dry and the ground too hard to easily penetrate for them, consequently local wheat fields are showing signs of the badgers filling their stomachs with ears of wheat.
Below a short video of the Green Woodpecker and one of her fledglings together on the bank of one of our ponds, the second video is of the green woodpecker parent on its own endeavouring to get into the hard soil with its beak.
A family of fallow deer came back to see us last night their fawns have nearly doubled in size.
Guess where some of our fish went?
The Grey Heron is undoubtedly a superb fishing machine with graceful looks to go with it…until it starts to fly when it looks ungain
Warm weather this week with lots of wildlife around, while sitting on our patio last night a green woodpecker landed on our lawn with one of its fledglings and proceeded to show the fledgling how to find ants!
Below are a couple of photographs of stoats taken by Elaine Bolton recently and the third photograph is from one of my auto cameras taken in the last 24 hours.
(double click on the images twice to full size them)
Many thanks to Elaine for sending me the above photographs.
This mornings photograph of a stoat presumably the same animal