History 1
© R.Irvine2011
Cookstown Wildlife Trust
Cookstown Wildlife Trust history is in many ways the history of all clubs and societies . Few are straightforward-human nature being what it is.   Cookstown Wildlife Trust was prominent in the establishment of Drum Manor and provided many of the ideas for its ponds and gardens .       Cookstown Wildlife Trust emerges from "The Cookstown and District Game and Wildfowl Preservation Society" not without much argument and discussion .   Most people will have forgotten that Cookstown Wildlife Trust was closely involved with the lakes at Drum Manor.The mallard ducks present in 2009 are probably descendants of those placed there by Cookstown Wildlife Trust circa 1970  In 1972 Cookstown Wildlife Trust membership was thriving. The education programme was gaining momentum. Water testing kits were purchased to enable schoolchildren to carry out pollution testing exercises. Mr. Jones, the Chairman, thought it a good idea to encourage children to join the club by putting on exhibitions of local flora and fauna and suggested Drum Manor as a suitable venue. By 1973 membership was 50 and remained high throughout the seventies, partly due to the interesting speakers that Queens University organized. Outings were well supported. Meetings held in Glenavon Hotel were however, expensive. In 1978 Ian McNeill suggested that Mr. Young ( Headmaster of Cookstown High School) be approached and asked for a room in the school. This was done in 1979. In 1980 the club held its first meeting in Coolnafranky House, an atmospheric house to have meetings in-if not a little cold! Membership however was falling, and fees had risen. The education programme proved disappointing. Bad weather, the troubles, and school activities played a part in its downfall. Into the 90’s membership stayed around 30. Programmes continued to be varied and interesting, with talks on butterflies, whooper swans, organic farming, trees, hedgerows, deer and even Ulster weather. Trips were popular. -the only worry was membership and should we or shouldn’t we purchase cups for our “drop of tea”.  This was eventually done in 2003! In 2005, Robert Stewart, Chairman since 1985 stepped down after twenty years as a club stalwart. New chairman and local teacher, Madeline Dargan soon made her mark. To encourage new members she instituted a weekly column for the local paper by members and even a crossword competition with a small prize for the winner - kindly donated by Budget D. I. Y. Thanks to Madeleine we obtained a grant from the local council enabling us to purchase a projector screen and stand. Cookstown Wildlife Trust moved again, this time to Loughry College, complete with power points and heat! Speakers continued to be top class and outings well supported. This is especially true of Ian McNeill’s annual tour which he puts much time and effort into. Membership remains above the 30 mark. It would of course be nice to attract more members. The way forward, perhaps, is to become more involved in the community. A start in this direction has been made. Our new web-site has been set up by Ronnie Irvine, a Facebook site also started,surveys at Lissan House and attendance at Ripple Ballinderry Project meetings have taken place. Our (2010-2017) Chairman Michael Mullan has ideas and schemes to ensure that Cookstown Wildlife Trust remains in operation for a long time.
founded February 1950
1960-1966 1960-1966 1966-1969 1966-1969 1969-1971 1969-1971 1971-2008 Tranquility 1971-2008 Tranquility