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)
Another hard frost this morning it did not however stop the badger cubs from emerging around 1.30am and having fun. Watching the videos it looked to me like one cub was looking for a dance partner.
The mallard duck seems to have lost all but one of her ducklings
The Brown Hare (one of 4 currently at College Barn Farm) stopped briefly to say hello… normally I see the hare run though without stopping day and night.
More on the dancing badger cubs.
25th April 2015
It did not take the cubs long to find their feet, I think that they probably should have emerged 2 weeks ago but due to the fighting every night between various badgers they were kept underground by their mother. They look very strong and are already off with their mum away from the sett, they were emerged from 2.30 am until 4.30am last night/this morning.
4 more short videos of the cubs and their mum below.
24th April 2015
The first badger cubs emerge from the sett entrance in front of our “running water” hide
On the way back into the sett
3 Videos below:
The lost badger cub was still in the hedge bottom last evening at 5.15 but had gone this morning at 6am! The cubs mum would have followed her usual browsing route last evening and the cub would have picked up her movement and joined her and gone back to the sett.
On my morning dog walk our two young springer pups (now 6 months old) came across a hissing animal fortunately my pus are well behaved and did as I asked. I managed to take a short video of the event. (see below this video has sound)
There were three badgers out in daylight from different badger setts last evening below is one of them
The badgers in the College Barn Farm setts tell me by their actions that rain is imminent, for the past two days copious quantities of bedding have been taken underground.
The badger emergence is between 7.55 pm (daylight) and 9pm.unately my pus are well behaved and did as I asked. In managed to take a short video of the event (see below)
Lots of fights and squabbles still going on between the badgers..see videos below you will note that the fights/squabbles were outside two different badger setts.
One badger was out early and is easily identified with the unusual colouring on its coat.
The Mallard duck seems to have lost one of her ducklings in the last 24 hours. The Video below shows her coming into the pond with 5 ducklings yesterday there were 6
The video below shows her leaving the pond again with 5 ducklings
The video below shows the Mallard Drake looking on with a cock pheasant in the background
The video below shows half of a herd of fallow deer that have been here for the past three days and appeared to me to have been “spooked”
The first two swallows were seen here on 20th April 2015 at lunch time…. a delight to see them back.
A muntjack visited us yesterday
This morning 21st April
The fallow deer returned to crop the short sweet grass
The badger emergence is still around 8 pm and varies from night to night due to the weather by up to 45 minutes.
Last night the first badger I saw was before 8pm out in daylight but only briefly, the main emergence was between 8.30 and 9pm
I fenced around our top pond last week to keep out the otters, mink and herons and yesterday I introduced 11 koi carp to the pond.
The mistle thrushes(at least 4) are still singing away as I walk our dogs around our badger wood at 6.30am yesterday there were 14 fallow deer in the wood including the albino.
I mowed the grass around the ponds and wood yesterday and noted a female duck sat very still on the bank of our smallest pond, I even managed to take a photo of her (see below, triple click on it to full size it)which made me think she was either sitting on eggs or had a brood of ducklings with her.
The video below was taken automatically by one of my cameras some time before the above photograph was taken.
To me it is a delight to watch the newly hatched ducklings this year
The badgers are still defending their setts from unwanted/marauding badgers
The badger emergence is between 8 to 8.45pm with an occasional badger out before 8 pm.
It seems as if the fighting between the “competing”boar badgers has calmed down somewhat. with normality returning to the setts.
In the video below is a happy badger.
In the short video below is a badger weather forecast for rain.(bed changing) around 35 seconds into the video something flies past is it a bat?
A very windy day yesterday 29/03/2015 with heavy wind blown showers from the South, the badgers were an hour later emerging!! but when they did the cameras captured a rare sight on two occasions and also a very late badger returning to its sett ( please bear in mind that my cameras time clock are one hour slow due to BST until later on today)
Do badgers like cup cakes?
In think that the answer is in the following two videos.
There were about 50 videos on my camera of badgers visiting the “cake arena” all of the cakes were eaten. The reason for putting the cakes on sticks was to stop mice and voles taking them.
Lots of badger activity last night with 6 badgers having a friendly play around a sett with the occupying badger making sure no other play fighting badger entered the sett.
The badgers obviously knew it was going to rain as more dry bedding went underground before the rain started at 3am this morning
Even the badger in the next sett was moving bedding into its sett while its neighbour “de-flead” after obtaing all the bedding they needed