FORGET flowers or chocolates. A romantic husband has bought his wife an anniversary present with a difference her very own lake.

The lake, surrounded by woodland at Sturminster Marshall, was purchased at auction as a 40th wedding anniversary present.

Set in 8.35 acres, including 1.33 acres of water, it provides a stunning setting for future romantic moments but at £86,000, a ruby ring would have been considerably cheaper.

Mark Lewis, of auctioneers Symonds and Sampson, said: "It's a super spot. You are well away from everybody, surrounded by farmland.

"It's a lovely place to catch some fish, make a little campfire and then watch the sun go down."

He said the mystery buyer fought off stiff competition from a local fisherman and a bidder from Guernsey to buy the lake.

"There were lots of other people who wanted it but nobody who wanted it as an anniversary present," he said.

"He was obviously determined to get it and was over the moon afterwards."

And it's not the first time Mr Lewis has encountered somebody with romantic intentions.

"This is the first place I have knowingly sold as an anniversary present but I did once sell a very romantic waterfall to a lady who said it would be a lovely place to give birth," he explained.

"She bought it and then told me it would be a lovely place to get married and then later, she said it would be a lovely place to conceive."

And he added: "I never heard anything more from her though so don't know whether her plans ever materialised."