Enjoy a peaceful, relaxing, self-catering holiday in a secluded mobile home situated in the heart of the countryside with spectacular views across the Cotswolds and floodlit badger-watching facilities within 50 metres of the accommodation
During your stay, you will be able to have EXCLUSIVE use of three heated hides from which to observe badgers and other wildlife by floodlight after dusk at College Barn Farm, Sibford Gower, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX15 5RY
The conservation project at College Barn Farm commenced in 1987 when Richard and 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 (CUT “a Eight-acre”) an 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 three heated hides .
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 on the farm (including an artificial sett) and are regularly viewed – unrestricted by glass – at close range by visitors sitting quietly in the hides.
The ‘Top Badger 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.
Above this hide is a balcony which allows visitors an elevated, open-air view of the badger setts and the surrounding area, day and night, when the weather is fine. 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 supper. 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, ‘Running Water 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 at close range from the front of the hide 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.
A third hide, which also seats three/four people, is situated further down the badger-field near the lower badger sett, just outside the floodlit area.
Wildlife everywhere, including a young Buzzard that was seen striking a Pidgeon close to our mobile home yesterday, The Pidgeon managed to escape!
Green and Spotted Wood Peckers are also visiting their feeding ground around the Mobile Home mainly after ants .
The badgers emerged at 9.10pm last night the previous evening they emerged at 7.30pm.
A video of badgers grooming below.
The white/albino fallow deer with a fawn along with another superbly coloured female also with her fawn of last year, in out in daylight.
A badger devours last years damsons (that I had used to flavour cider) in the pouring rain, the badger cub with it did not seem to like the damsons!!
The badger emergence is around 8.30 to 9pm (see bottom video)
Lots of activity by badgers who are all too quick to stay in camera range to be worth posting at the moment.
I saw the Muntjac who is now a mum!! with a very small fawn yesterday.
Below is a video of fallow deer in daylight
There is also lots of other wildlife around a lovely stoat appeared yesterday
later on lots of badgers appeared one by one for about 4 seconds on the camera while looking for food
Then Fallow deer appeared again.
Then a Fox
A badger looks out of its sett entrance in daylight but decides discretion is the better part of valor and re-enters the sett
5th August 2015
The weather is Windy but not Wet!
The badgers emerge around 8.30 pm, good sightings of a barn & tawny owl last week also a variety of deer, Roe, Fallow and Muntjac’s are seen passing through nibbling trees and eating grass. The Roe deer are normally on their own as are the Muntjac’s but occasionally there is a loan fallow deer and not necessarily a stag as per the pretty little fallow deer in the video below.
July 28, 2015
We have just had a couple of days of persistent rain which fell over a long period and therefore allowed the dry soil to soak it all up. The badgers are now enjoying the after effects as the earthworms rise to the soil surface when damp conditions prevail.
I found the delightful newt in the photo below about 15 metres from our top pond under a stone that I had to move.(I photographed it and returned it to its hiding place, it is only the second newt I have found here in the last 25 years)
Double click on the images to full size them.
26th July 2015
The moorhens still have three chicks which are now just about big enough to survive on their own, they are once again feeding well away from the safety of the ponds.
I have never seen a hare scent mark and I assume that is what the one in the short video below is doing?
A longer look at a Muntjac stag in the video below I could hear him barking all of the time that I was on my early morning dog walk
I saw a badger out well away from the badger setts at 8.25pm last night so the emergence was well before that time.
Yesterday and last night was a busy very wildlife day and night here with badgers ,fallow deer , muntjacs, moorhens with their chicks and a bat briefly on camera
A very close up fallow deer stag in the video below.
The Moorhens are playing a dangerous game feeding with their chicks 90 metres from the pond they hatched their chicks on! I ony saw two chicks this morning??
A male Muntjac
The female fallow deer one with a fawn and a brief glimpse of a bat
The badger emergence is still in daylight around 9pm.
The resident Green Woodpeckers successfully reared at least two offspring, The greater Spotted Woodpecker reared 4 offspring but two flew into our windows, one survived the incident!
The badger cubs are now nearly adults, I see the occasional cub out with its mother browsing and another very small cub (slightly bigger than a hedgehog) everywhere it moves twice as fast as the other cubs and rarely appears on the camera for more than a second or two.
A very healthy looking red fox with a wonderful “brush”/tail visited us last evening in daylight as per the video(s) below the Moorhen still has 3 chicks as per the video below.
A busy week just past (wildlife wise)
An owl sits on top of the badger playground watching a young rabbit ( it did not catch it click on the image to enlarge it) Many thanks to Bill Burkhill for sending me the photograph
A moorhen has two recently hatched chicks in the video below
Two badger cubs(nearly adults now) stop to play!! in the video below
An absolutely gorgeous fallow deer fawn in the video below
A hare sits quietly eating the freshly mown grass while a muntjac passes by in the video below
The following videos and photographs were taken by Ray and Julie White on their recent visit to our badger-watch, they saw and videoed lots of badgers but thought their record of other species that visited our wildlife reserve should be available for all to see.
Many thanks to Ray and Julie for their contribution to our wildlife photographic collection.
The fallow deer out grazing
The very active Wagtail feeding one of her fledglings
The kestrels on change over of duties looking after their young that they hatched out in our Tawny Owl box.
A wonderful stag comes in very close to show off his antlers and other bits
The very warm weather came to an end yesterday afternoon as the sun went behind the clouds a very welcome shower of rain fell.
badgers are still out in daylight with Mrs Brown badger out of the sett and on her way to browse/feed off whatever is around and with the rain earthworms rise to the surface.
A short video film of the visiting fox below.
The fawns seem to have a mind of their own in the video below.
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)