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)
Three fledgling magpies exercising their wings in the short video below without getting airborne.
A very healthy looking stag visited our tree garden last evening and gave on of the trees the full force of his antlers!
One of the last born cubs still with its mum out foraging, probably for the next two weeks, all of the other badger cubs are out foraging in with each other but in very small groups of 2-3 cubs.
a very short video of the mum and cub together
Another stag visited us last night (in the video below)
The badger emergence is around 8pm, in daylight.
I managed to catch video footage of 5 of the now nearly adult badger cubs, albeit only a few seconds as they visit one of the badger setts in a BIG hurry
A heron visited one of our ponds yesterday
My two springer spaniel pups found a tawny owl fledgling that seemed to me to have left the safety of its home in a tree too soon as it could not yet fly!!
I put the owlet back in the pollarded tree 20 feet up where it promptly scuttled off and hid.
Keep clicking on the image to full size it
The badger cubs are now split back up into their individual families seemingly now grown up as they are out with their mothers browsing for food most of the night.
27th June 2015
A fallow deer Doe came to see us last night and brought her very young fawn with her
The fawn on video
Two hares having fun
A female badger showing one of her cubs how to find food
As close as you can get to a fallow deer.
I look forward to the day that the obviously pregnant muntjac in the very short video below returns here with a fawn
The first badger to emerge last night 19th June was at 7.19pm
The roe deer below was a little “flighty” and on her own.
I am always amazed by how many wild birds visit a badger sett entrance for food.
Below is a few of them recorded yesterday but excludes the green woodpecker,Jay,jackdaw,crow which I have seen regularly around the badger setts
Video below of the Mistle Thrush which has been singing here for months from early morning until dark.
As always triple click on photographs to full size them
The Mistle thrush
The Mistle thrush video
Added 16th June 2015
The green woodpecker
Is this The Ghost or what watch? watch the video right through
The first badger out last night
Looks like one of the larger cubs is trying to find something to eat
The badger cubs out early in daylight with their parents.
This greater spotted woodpecker survived flying into one of our windows
After picking the woodpecker up I examined it and noted that the tip of its upper beak was missing apart from being knocked out that there was little or no other injuries to this beautiful little bird.
I then placed it into one of our plant pots (close by) to recover or otherwise
An hour later to my delight the woodpecker flew off!!
(Click on the images to full size them)
The badgers were out in daylight at 7.37pm last night (see the first two videos below) Arthur our visitor for his 17th year saw 10 badger cubs last night and also had good sightings of buzzards and red kites (along with the many smaller birds like yellow hammers and skylarks)
Cubs out of the sett at 7.37pm
Even mum badger who is normally the first badger to emerge knows that 7.45pm is still half an hour too early to emerge from the sett
Two cubs play fight it is amazing that they have grown up so quickly (6-7 weeks) they can also run fast!!!
If you keep annoying your parent you will surely pay the price!!
Not all the badgers are friendly to badger cubs, in the video below a parent protects its cub and sees off a marauding badger
The badger cubs are rapidly getting used to every day life.
When I say rapidly they seem to have forgotten how to walk, they just run and run, consequently videos of the cete of badgers together are becoming few and far between.
A rare photograph of badgers climbing tree trunks (below)
Click on the image until it full sizes)
Many thanks to our current visitors Dave & Margaret for taking the photograph
Probably one of the last videos (below) of this cete of badgers together for 60 seconds,the badger cubs look as if they have doubled in size
JUNE 3rd 2015
Yesterday I saw a barn owl out hunting in daylight at 9.23pm and a red kite out hunting this morning at 7.30am
The badger cubs still spend some time at home.. but more often than not they are now out with an adult looking for food.
The Badger cubs are growing up rapidly and spend much more time away from their sett.
There are however confrontations among the adult badgers (see video below) in front of the badger cubs
A short squabble/fight takes place in the video below among the adult badgers (see video below) one hits the camera stand before bouncing back into the sett entrance
One of last nights visitors attempting to demolish one of our shrubs while cleaning up his antlers
(in the video below)
As the bickering between the adults diminishes the association between mother and cubs returns