Often referred to around Kinloch as “the oracle of everything we have at our doorstep,” Mitchell Partridge is happiest when he’s in the great outdoors. “Fly fishing, foraging – I’ve always done these things, even as a very small child. My father gave me my first knife at 7. My surname means that I come from a long line of gamekeepers.” Even in his downtime, you can find him fishing or picking his dinner, or pickling and cooking his own foraged foods.
Coming to Skye from the East Coast of Scotland more than two decades ago, Mitchell is a fixture at Kinloch, where he leads guests on outdoor pursuits: fishing, foraging, stalking and wild walks. Those on a day out with Mitchell can expect “a day of really good fun. It’s a physical day – although I can cater for everyone, from toddlers to those in their advanced years – but you’ll know you’ve been outside.” He promises “a rosy glow on your cheeks and that you’ll be looking forward to that lovely gin and tonic.”
But some of his favourite clients are the littlest ones. “Children are the best,” he says. “You could have a child that one day grows up to be the next Attenborough. Their time on Skye where they found frog spawn or cooked clams they dug up on the beach – that might be the thing that ignited a spark.”
Conservation is at the heart of everything Mitchell does. He’s a member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, actively monitoring Skye’s white-tailed eagle population, and is a trained marine mammal medic who carries out the rescue of seals, dolphins and whales. When asked what a ghillie really does, Mitchell sums it up perfectly: “We are the unofficial custodians of the countryside.”
Favourite Skye Spot: "On the water, any water at all. Or on a hill, but it could be any hill. Everything on the island has its equal beauty."
Top Tip: "While you’re here, try to see as much as the island as you can, but you’ve got to be dressed for it. Waterproofs and good boots should be in your bag."