Meet the Team

Our team is made up of Stalkers, Ghillies, Skippers, Boatmen, Housekeepers and general estate workers.

We asked our team three questions to introduce themselves on our website:

  1. What did you do before working at Benmore Estate?
  2. Where is your favourite place and/or what is your most memorable event on Benmore Estate?
  3. What would we find you doing in your spare time?

And the answers…

Donald Bisset

Head Stalker, Ghillie and Skipper

  1. I spent most of my childhood growing up around Knock House and Benmore Estate.  I’ve studied traditional boatbuilding at the International Boatbuilding Training College, Gamekeeping and Wildlife Management at the North Highland College and latterly a degree in Marine Science at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS).  I started working full time on Benmore Estate in May 2005.
  2. I have happy memories of catching a 21lb salmon on Loch Ba as a child with my father and brother.  I enjoy exploring the West Coast of Scotland by boat and in particular remember a trip onboard Benmore Lady where we visited St. Kilda and saw killer whales on our return journey.  Being up on the top of the hills, whether stalking during the rut or on a winters day at the hinds has given me many favourite places for spying and taking in the natural beauty of the Island and it’s wildlife.
  3. When the winter weather permits or on a summer evening Kim and I take my boat for trips to nearby cafes or visit other west coast the islands.  On a calm day I may be testing myself and my equipment shooting at long range targets and if the weather is poor then I am often found in one of the sheds either fixing something or knife making.

Andrew Gorthy

Stalker, Ghillie and Boatman

  1. I was offered a work placement on Dalness Estate, Glen Etive, while at High School in Edinburgh and stayed there for the next 10 years!  At Dalness I had the chance to be involved with daily running of salmon hatchery and, as the ground on the estate was too steep for machinery, a large part of my job involved extracting stags off the hill using traditional Highland hill ponies.  I also spent six months studying Environmental Studies at Barony College and went on to do year at North Highland College as a gamekeeper, gaining my DSQ level 1 at Dalness Estate and level 2 at Benmore Estate where I moved to in  2009.
  2. If I could pick just one place on Mull, it would be mast road on Torosay.  It allows me to look over the Benmore Estate land and back towards old stalking ground I used to walk.  I enjoy the new opportunities and personal growth which Benmore Estate has opened up to me.
  3. Renata and I are very busy with our two children, Angus and Holly, who are often seen around the Estate.  I enjoy spending my spare time with family and especially days out together in Oban, and during the quieter times I like hiding behind a good crime book.   Another one of my favourite pastimes is watching sport, my favourites of all must be rugby and Formula 1.

Martin Kafka

Ghillie and general estate worker

  1. I’m from the Czech Republic but I have lived and worked all over Europe.  I’m a trained mechanical engineer and I have mainly worked in factories manufacturing cars and building military aeroplanes.  You can often find me around the Estate pulling things apart and (sometimes) putting them back together again.
  2. The thing I enjoy most about working at Benmore Estate is being able to live and work in such a beautiful location.  My favourite place on the Estate is sitting down at the Oak Tree Pool on River Ba with a rod in my hand, because it is the best spot to catch a fish!
  3. In my spare time I enjoy watching good classic spy movies, having relaxing short walks around the Island and enjoying some home cooking.  I also enjoy boxercise and taijutsu.

Kimberley Bisset

Estate secretary and head housekeeper

  1. Before joining Benmore Estate I was studying Marine Science at SAMS, near Oban, where I met Donald, and graduated in June 2005 with a first class Honours degree.  During the summer months I have worked at Tiroran House Hotel and the Boathouse on Ulva, mainly waiting and housekeeping.
  2. A memorable event for me on the Estate is really Hogmanay at Knock House.  The house is always busy with the family and we have lots of festive decorations, bonfires and of course fireworks!  I enjoy the variety of roles I have and recently helped to renovate and furnish Knock Cottage.
  3. A huge passion of mine is horse riding.  I am lucky enough to own my own horse and enjoy showing and jumping although nothing beats a good hack and a gallop along the beach at low tide.  I also enjoy boating with Donald on our RIB exploring Mull and the west coast of Scotland, we have even made it to Ballycastle in Northern Ireland.

Renata Schmidtova

Housekeeper

  1. Originally from Slovakia, I have travelled around the UK working in different places and doing different things including being an au pair, farm help, cooking and housekeeping on Scottish Estates and Hotels.  I met Andrew while working in Dalness Lodge and we moved to Benmore Estate in 2009.
  2. As an outdoor lover, I am delighted to have the opportunity to feed the wintering stags during the harsh Scottish winter months.  They each have their own personalities and are amazing to watch so close by.
  3. Shortly after arriving on Mull, Andrew and I started our family and we now have two delightful children, Angus and Holly.  I love spending time with my family and enjoy taking long walks together with our two beloved dogs.  I also enjoy the relaxing on one of the beautiful beaches of Mull, lunching with friends, up-cycling furniture and learning Spanish.

Alessandra Puledda

Housekeeper

  1. I’m from a small village, near Milan, close to the Lakes in Northern Italy.  Growing up I worked in my parent’s seafood restaurant and I am often found exchanging recipes with the various cooks in Knock House.  I graduated in 2009 with a degree in Religious Studies from the University of Bologna, the oldest University in Europe.  Before moving to Scotland I worked in Ireland for a Catholic Newspaper.
  2. One of my favourite places on Benmore Estate is Loch Ba, because it reminds me of home.  The only difference is the weather!  I spent two summers living in the Clachaig bothy and I regularly walk up there to enjoy the views and watch the guests fishing the Loch.
  3. I love to read, especially about history and anthropology, and if I don’t have my nose in a book, I will be found in my kitchen covered in flour cooking up some Italian food.  I also volunteer at the Mull Museum in Tobermory where I can explore their archives and library and learn about Mull and Scotland.