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)
The badger emergence is around 6.30pm.
Our recent visitors espied 8 badgers out together with the first of them coming really close by 8pm
There are three badgers living in a retreat I built for foxes (basically a sleeping compartment with a tunnel in and another out about three feet deep)
I thought that I would just check and see how they were progressing and put my camera observing one of the entrances yesterday….the following video recorded a unique occasion!!
A wet evening last evening, but the badgers knew the rain was coming and were out in force before the rain started to fall. (see the video below)
The badgers also do not like baked beans as they were all left in the frying pan (see video) this morning, the moorhens however ate the sauce!!
The badgers emerge around 6pm, we have just had two wonderful sunny days which made an early spring seem as if it was here.
One of the signs of SRING being here are contained in the two videos below, showing Cock Pheasant’s sparing in the sunshine for the territory and the hen Pheasants within it. (They were sparing for at least 20 minutes)
Today cold windy and wet!
The badger emergence is around 6pm (here)
I am amazed at the amount of small and large birds picking away at the peanuts hidden in my badger feeding points!
I have now however moved the cameras away from the feeding points to watch the “cub time” behaviour of the College Barn Farm badgers.
Early evening within an hour of emergence there is definitely a keep away from my sett rule which is backed up by a swift run and attack warning by the defending badgers on any incoming badger that it thinks maybe a threat to whatever (hopefully cubs) that are in their sett, they all seem to end up friendly tho.(see below)
Below is a video of a possible ” new Mum” badger, as she rolls over, her underneath looks vaguely like there are used mammary glands, she is also scent marked by a returning member of the family before they both enter the sett.
The spring bird song continued this morning with other varieties joining in.
The first two videos that follow show two badgers protecting their sett, presumably because there are badger cubs inside and another baqdger looking as if she is yet to give birth! and yet another badger with its head in the clouds
You may need to halt the following 7 second video halfway through to see the size of Mrs badgers tummy
A very short 10 second close up video of a badger on a log 10 feet up in the air
I am absolutely delighted to report that I heard the first bird song this morning just after 7am on my morning dog walk a Mistle thrush delighted me by breaking into song as I walked through our wood.
The following short videos were taken by a camera on situated on the end of one of our new trees 10 feet up of the ground yesterday and overnight.
One of a pair/three jays
A Cock Pheasant close up but is here everyday all over the logs picking up morsels
the greater spotted woodpecker visits
Below the Carrion Crow having a scratch
A close up of one of the College Barn Farm badgers
A close up of two of the College Barn Farm badgers.
The wind is still blowing from the north east and a chill wind it is indeed, as the ground freezes the badger population find it much harder to find food.
In the photo image below taken from outside our “rung water” hide a badge can be seen half way up “Links Log” (double click twice on the image to full size it)
Spot the MOUSE
Below are a selection of short videos of some of the local bird life that visits the badger playground starting with 3 jays
A lovely little nuthatch was around for several hours (11 seconds on the video)
The Nuthatch is visited by a chaffinch
A greater spotted wood pecker joined the party
The other feathered visitors were blackbirds, carrion crows, a cock pheasant, bluetits, pidgeons
I looked at several images of a badger using the log but unfortunately the camera batteries ran low after taking 65 photos and 65, 11 second videos so only the following video was worth uploading
On a different log (the log that goes away from the elevated hide) the badger shows no fear of traversing the log in total darkness!! Please do not ask how they find their way in the dark as I do not KNOW.
The Badgers emerge around 7pm and are hungry!
They have ascended all of the additional and replaced logs including “Links Log” ( the highest and biggest tree of all )
Below is an aggressive/hungry badger outside our “running water” hide last evening
A badger runs up “Links Log” in less than 35 seconds!!
A badger ascends the tree that points toward the Elevated hide, but initially goes up the wrong bough!
The last badger to return to its sett was about 5.45am
A momentous night last night!! a badger decided to climb “Links Log” the new addition to the badger playground, the badger was not the only animal to climb the log, last night my cameras captured the fastest mouse in England. (watch the second video until the end 35 seconds)
The bravest badger in England?
The fastest mouse in England? I can assure you the video is NOT speeded up