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)
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
The Mallard Duck has hatched another 5 ducklings. (a very brief video of them below)
The Tawny Owl also visited the same pond bank that the Mallard duck uses (another brief video)
A stoat seen here last week, one of a pair.
(to full size the photo click on it then click twice on the photo that comes up)
The badger without a tooth pick
Many thanks to Ann Bolton who sent me the above photographs taken here during her stay here with family last week
Badgers, deer Kestrel fledgling and a tawny owl chick here over the past two weeks.
Video footage taken by Peter & Lesley Schofield taken from our “running water” hide, many thanks to Peter & Lesley for sending them to me.
Badgers & deer
The owl chick
A fallow deer visited us last night with her fawn as did a muntjac (muntjac in the video below)
The fledgling Kestrel
Another first for me three muntjac deer visiting at once… I have only ever seen two at one time before and it is normal to see only one at a time.
A grey Heron, the first I have managed to get on video in 20 years.
In the first video the heron is so close its head is out of range of the camera
The second video shows the Heron with a head!
The Mallard Duck keeps her ducklings in good condition and away from the fox which I see on video during day light hours (second video down)
The very RED FOX
The kestrels have performed as nature expected this year.
They have managed to bring at least two offspring to the point of fledging and from previous posts it was not without interruption from crows and jackdaws.
This is the third time that the kestrels have successfully bred in a converted office desk pedestal.
KEPP CLICKING ON THE IMAGE TO FULL SIZE IT
There was no sign of the two young kestrels this morning so I assume they have fledged after 3 days of sitting on the ledge exercising their wings while their parents supplied them with food.
The short video below depicts a rarely seen event which happens most evenings/nights when a badger is aware of an earthworm close to or on the surface of the ground.
We have an abundance of swallows this year, One pair have built a nest under the eaves of our house….the first time in 48 years!!
It is very difficult to work out whether the bouncing animal in the video is a stoat or a weasel? (probably a weasel)