THE owner of a closurethreatened animal sanctuary is aiming to reach a financial settlement with a landowner, after an impending court case was called off at the eleventh hour.

Janet Taylor has run the Farm Animal Sanctuary at Manor Orchard Farm, Middle Littleton, for 14 years but faces being evicted from the land by its owner, leaving the future of more than 600 animals in doubt.

She has been fighting the eviction notice imposed by landowner Patricia Bernie who said she wanted the land back after she gave Ms Taylor the farm as a temporary “gift”.

The case was due to begin at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday after mediation was unsuccessful but it was called off just 24 hours before it was due to begin.

Ms Taylor is still desperate to keep the farm and prevent the animals from going to slaughter and has come up with a plan to raise money to buy the land.

She is hoping that a ‘Mile of Gold’ fund-raising campaign, which will be launched in September at an open day, will drum up enough cash.

“We’re now making a serious effort to buy the farm,”

she said.

“It’s the only answer for us.

We’re trying to get loans and donations – we’re going all out to raise funds and borrow money.

“That’s the thing that’s going to keep the animals.

Everybody’s aware and doing their best.

“We’ve got money coming in and had more than £500 so far in donations. We’re working flat out at this.”

Kidderminster and District Branch of the RSPCA has offered to provide fund-raising for the sanctuary.

For information on how to support it, visit thefarmani or call Janet Taylor on 01386 832640.