Fogle's £1.5m bid for Scottish island that made him a star runs aground

Castaway turned television presenter Ben Fogle said he was "bitterly disappointed and sad" yesterday after failing to buy the remote Scottish island which catapulted him to fame.

Despite raising nearly £1.5m in the two weeks since it was put on the market, the Countryfile star missed out on acquiring windswept Taransay which was bought in its entirety by an unnamed landowner living on neighbouring Harris. It was up for sale for £2m although the agreed price has not been disclosed.

Mr Fogle, who spent a year taking part in the hit BBC reality show set on the uninhabited Outer Hebridean island in 2000, said it was vital the new laird invested on behalf of local people living in the Western Isles.

He said he was surprised at the speed at which the sale had gone through claiming it was concluded before he had time to put together his consortium which included local community group the West Harris Trust, more than 50 volunteers and potentially The Prince's Trust. "There is a little bit of mystery surrounding it," he said. "It seems strange that no calls were returned in our attempt to say we were interested in buying it," he added.

Mr Fogle has tried and failed on five previous occasions to purchase an island. This time he had planned to turn the remote Atlantic outcrop into a 3,445 acre nature reserve possibly reintroducing ancient species.

"I owe everything to that island. It is where it all began for me and I wanted to give something back specifically to the community," he said.

Earlier this month Mr Fogle said he had been shocked at the "sorry state" of Taransay when he attended a 10th anniversary reunion there along with fellow Castaways. The deer herd needed culling, fences required mending and the wind turbine was not working, he said. John Bound of estate agents CKD Galbraith said there were no plans to change the way it was managed. "The existing owners know the purchaser and all involved are delighted with the outcome, and the island passes into safe hands. There will no doubt be a number of disappointed parties who would have liked to bid but it is fitting that Taransay is now in the new ownership of somebody closely acquainted to the area who will preserve the current management of the island," he said.

Taransay was put up for sale by its owners, Angus and Norman MacKay, two brothers who live on Harris. It was bought by their father in 1967 for £11,000. Although famed for its white powder beach, otters and stunning sunsets, the last family departed in 1974 ending more than 2,000 years of habitation. It has been the site of fierce battles and invasions, including the Massacre of Taransay in 1544.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas