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 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
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
I have never seen such an intense battle between two moorhens as in the 11 second video below! in fact I have never seen more than two moorhens before on or around this little pond.
This is the first grass snake that I have seen this year… but what a cracker over four feet long
(triple click on the image above to full size it)
The badger emergence starts with Mrs early badger out of her sett by 8.15pm with the cubs emerging around 9 to 10 pm
In the video below half of a head from a newly fledged owl can be seen, is it a barn or tawny owl?
The badger cubs in the video below were out in daylight last evening albeit cautiously.
At the first smell or sign of danger the badger cubs in the video below are underground into the sett in seconds.
A warm damp evening after an early heavy rain shower made conditions ideal for the badgers food supply, consequently there was a lot of badger activity until 4.35am this morning
A happy cete of badgers
How many badger cubs at play?
I thought I was going to lose my camera for a minute!
Its time for the cubs to go to bed but they seem to want to get together at the sett entrance.
How to get your “offspring” to do what you want!!
Grab them by the scruff of the neck and drag them underground
A very close up scratch
The fallow deer were here yesterday afternoon including “whitey” the albino
Two more cubs at least, maybe three in a sett on our northern boundary.
Five cubs in this sett which is front of our “running water” hide
Two cubs in this sett which is a stones throw from the above sett
One cub in the “fox retreat” situated close to our largest pond
Two cubs in the badger sett situated near the middle of our farm, so we now have at least 12 badger cubs this year
The badgers are returning to normal after the two days of howling gales (here) lots of slugs and associated bugs including leather jackets for them to find and eat as spring turns into summer.
We have swallows here again this year building nests in one of our barns to name but one of the many varieties of birds that are here on a daily basis.
The badger cubs all look to be in good order, some of the older cubs are now doing the rounds with their mums.
The badger cub dance again
We have new occupants in the artificial fox retreat
A young looking couple of badgers
A windy wet night last night but the first badger was still out in daylight and also did not retire to the sett until well after day break 5.20am
Below is a female badger off out on(as far as I am aware) a first browse with 4 of the 6 cubs.
I rescued the very young leverit in the photograph below this morning warmed it up and put it back in its form 90 minutes later
I AM HOPING IT SURVIVES
The badgers are starting to emerge around 7.30pm in daylight
The badger cubs were up a little later but hey ho three cubs emerged yesterday and in the video below there are four badger cubs!!
In the video below it would appear that the cete’ of badgers have produced 6 cubs (so far) from 3 mums
Lots of badger activity with badgers out in daylight most evenings just after 8pm.
The two badger cubs in previous videos have now seemingly had an addition to their family, as there are now three badger cubs as of last night!!
The cubs out with their mum
The cubs out on their own
A new badger cub dance?