Private River Avon island sells for £280k:Londoner places winning bid to snap up unusual Osier Island retreat with boat moorings, a garden - and not much else

The Londoner who succeeded in snapping up a private island retreat at auction reveals big plans for this wildlife haven along the River Avon.

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The buyer of Osier island, a small grassy haven on the river Avon, has been revealed to be Dan Simpson, 41, a Londoner who plans to use the island as a weekend retreat “to play on and do boys’ stuff” – and who wants to get married there next summer.

Mr Simpson, who works in pharmaceuticals, was the winning bidder at an auction attended by 150 people last week. His £280,000 bid – well over the lot’s £190,000 guide price – was successful despite some confusion when the auctioneer thought another buyer “who was waving her papers” had outbid him.

During the auction Mr Simpson was in Tuscany, Italy where his partner was fulfilling bridesmaid duties, so his lawyer bid on his behalf as he gave instructions down the phone.

The bidding started at £150,000 before jumping to £260,000 at intervals of £10,000, before Mr Simpson went in at £280,000.

Dan Simpson, 41, pictured with his partner Frances and their baby son Zack, bought the island for £280,000.

Very shortly afterwards a new bidder went to £285,000. But lawyer Andrew Baskerville, bidding for Mr Simpson, reported that auctioneer Will Kerton was “uneasy”..

“Will later told me that it appeared she was waving her papers,"Mr Baskerville said, although the competing bid was not confirmed.

Mr Simpson was determined to buy the island after being the only person successfully able to reach it after flooding caused the cancellation of pre-booked viewings. Undeterred, Mr Simpson got a blow up dinghy that just happened to be in the boot of his car and made his way across the water.

The one permanent residence dates back to the 1940s and is a timber ranch-style two-bedroom house built on a raised platform away from floodwaters. An artist has been living there for the past seven years. 

Osier is full of wildlife with barn owls, kingfishers and a wealth of ornithological interest. Spanning 0.44 acres, it has several boat moorings, a garden and not much else.

No services are connected to the property although the previous owner used a solar panel for electricity, bottled gas for cooking, a wood burning stove for heating and a rainwater holding tank.

“I’ve bought the island with my friend Anthony and, like me he’s got a young son, so we’re just going to be boys together, fix it up and play there at weekends,” he told Homes & Property.

“I would like to get married there – but my wife might have to wear a white neoprene wedding dress and I’m not sure how a marquee or all our guests would get there.”

Mr Simpson was attracted to the area because he hails from the local district. “I was originally brought up around Pershore. I went to Pershore High. I have since found myself in London playing the corporate game. But, like many city dwellers, I’ve been increasingly lusting after somewhere green,” he said.

The island sits a quarter of a mile downstream from Worcestershire's pretty village of Wyre Piddle where you’ll find a marina, pubs and a village hall. Mr Simpson inquired as to whether Ocado would deliver to the island – but without success.

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