AN evicted animal sanctuary owner has spent the night at her former farm after barricading herself inside.

Paula Campbell and two supporters have been in the farmhouse at Milkup Bank Farm in Willington, County Durham, since yesterday (March 29) afternoon.

They were granted permission to return to the farm, from where she ran the Rainbow Ark Animal Sanctuary, to collect personal belongings, but the trio barricaded themselves in with furniture.

Speaking this morning on a mobile phone from inside the house, Ms Campbell said she remained as defiant as ever.

She said: “There were also sorts of ridiculous tactics during the night from the security staff, it was quite pathetic really.

“They were singing and making animal noises, as if that would bother me.

“We actually had a good night’s sleep in our home and we will continue to make a stand.”

Ms Campbell was evicted in January by Redstone Mortgage Ltd who claimed she was in arrears on her mortgage.

But Ms Campbell, who had more than 350 animals at the sanctuary all of which have now been re-homed, said she was not in arrears and claimed the court order that allowed the eviction was unlawful.

Staff from K9 Search Solutions, the security company manning the farm since the eviction, refused to comment on the stand-off.

Durham Police was on site last night, but said they were there simply to keep the peace and the eviction was a civil matter.

Ms Campbell, 47, said she would not be "worn down".

"We are pretty used to the dark," she said. "We are used to animal noises, so it won't work. We are here for as long as it takes.

"I am used to the silence. We have got books and we have plenty of food and we are fine. I am a survivalist, so they are wasting their time if they think they are going to wear me down.

"They switched the electric off, but I was married to a soldier so I am quite aware of Army tactics. It's the battlefield."

Redstone Mortgage Ltd were contacted but had not replied at the time of publication.

Ms Campbell and four of her supporters were allowed back to the farm between 10am and 3pm on Wednesday (March 26), yesterday (March 27) and today (March 28) to retrieve her belongings.