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)
2nd December 2013
Following on from the romantic badger video another video showing true love is just a mouse click away below
It is now 1st December, I found a small dead bird this morning by one of our badger hides I thought it was a chaffinch as I had never seen one of this type of small bird up close before on closer inspection I now think it is a bullfinch not a brambling
Below is another video of fallow deer in our orchard less than 5 metres form our mobile home which will update the previous two videos.
The video contains in the background a fallow deer stag with massive antlers and is obviously the dominant stag inn the herd which contained 7 fallow deer that I could identify on the video, there was however on the previous video an adult muntjac with the fallow deer.
28.11.2013 The weather is mild and just a little damp with limited visibility due to low cloud cover.
I am seeing roe and fallow deer during daylight hours with our cameras also picking them up at night
This fallow deer stag gets around, the eyes in the background belong to one of his female friends and to impress her watch what does
he do? wee on the fallen apples!!
I will let everyone know the results of the video below next March or April
The badger emergence has come back to around 6.30 pm with five badgers in the video below competing for 2 hands full of peanuts.
We are being visited by fallow deer and muntjac every evening with a once a week visit by a pair of roe deer all after young grass and over ripe apples.
I spotted a pair of woodcock in our wood during the past week, my guess is they have migrated in from either Scandinavian or Russia
The badger emergence is now between 6.30 pm and midnight!!
There is nowhere near the badger feeding activity being picked up on my outlying cameras where as bringing a couple of cameras closer to the badger setts has shown a distinct change in their behaviour.
There are far more comings and goings from the badger sett with badgers very wary of the slightest noise, the wariness of the badgers is I think due to an interloping boar badger. The female badgers and this years cubs dive for the cover provided by their setts if the interloper appears anywhere within hearing or scent range.
This was the second load of fresh bedding taken down the sett.
Grooming is a very important part of the badgers life, apart from dispensing with a few ticks and fleas the association is most important.
No human could move this quickly!!
The badger emergence has moved from 6.45pm to 9.45pm it will be interesting to see if this emergence pattern continues or maybe there was something around that disturbed the badgers and thereby affected their emergence.
I have personally seen some very large fallow deer stags (one had 12 points on his antlers) here recently they varied in colour from brown to black.
My guess is that they were looking for females as the “rut” is on and the noises emerging from Traitors Ford cover would confirm the fact.
The badgers in the videos below were interesting to watch as they gather minute amounts of peanut butter, one nearly came to grief in the second video!
The badgers emerge around 6.30pm, the weather is warm, wet and very windy!
last evening there were gusts around 70 mph! while the very brave badger in the video below was feeding off a few peanuts on one of our pine logs 10 feet in the air at 8.30pm.
The badger was very low on the log with it’s tummy down on the log. I have seen badgers in February doing what I call the “badger creep” along logs in high winds and rain and never seen one put a foot wrong yet while doing it.
As our badger watch draws to a close ( on 4th November for 2013) I would like to thank all of our visitors over the past 10 months for their input to our badger-watch and look forward to welcoming all of the visitors who have booked to visit the badgers at College Barn Farm in 2014 our 26th year of badger-watch.
Wet but warm, the badgers are making the most of weather which brings worms to the surface and provides many other morsels to complete their diet.
The four badgers in the video below took time out to have some fun!
The sun is out to day with the outside temperature being quite/very warm for Autumn.
The moon is out in full resulting in the night time vision being excellent without lights.
One of our visitors last week Jill Pearson took a photo of an unusual visitor to the badger-watch who is normally heard but not seen! (click twice on the photos to full size them)
The badger emergence is still around 7.30pm with 5 or six badgers still together with the others visiting the area from their new home only a few metres away.
The weather here for the last 10 days has been WET, the badgers love it as earth worms are plentiful
One of the infrared camera’s was being used by a fallow deer the night before last just to show off its two year old fawn? (third video down)
The first video below depicts by comparison the little Muntjac deer compared to a Cock Pheasant
The second video show a completely unconcerned fallow deer having a very close look at the camera
The video below was taken at 3.40am on 20.10.2013 when I looked at the camera at 7 am it was obvious an animal had been playing with it ! I thought it was possibly one of this years badger cubs until I played the video back!! watch it until the end as it looked to me as if the adult was trying to make a film star out of its offspring?
Colour full Cock Pheasants with a very plain Hen Pheasant !
The badger emergence is around 7.15pm.
One minute they are feeding 12 feet in the air on a tree and then a few minutes later feeding on fallen damsons under a tree
Our visitors saw lots of badger activity last evening and during the badger-watch 7 fallow deer put in an appearance including a fawn.
What they would not have seen were some interesting developments that were happening just out of range of the human eye near our “summer ” hide situated just in the trees.
Have a guess what the badger in the video above is doing, I bet you your guess was incorrect
Two are seemingly good company so it seems, until the proper partner finds out!
Two badgers kissing??