Cookstown Wildlife Trust history is like the history of most clubs and societies . Few are
straightforward-human nature being what it is. C. W.T. was prominent in the establishment of
Drum Manor and provided ideas for ponds and gardens .
The Trust emerges from "The Cookstown and District Game and Wildfowl Preservation
The Trust was involved with lakes at Drum Manor. Mallard ducks present in 2018
may well be descendants of those placed there by Cookstown Wildlife Trust circa
In 1972 C.W.T.purchased water testing kits to enable schoolchildren to carry out pollution testing . Mr.
Jones(Chairman) thought it a good idea to encourage children by putting on exhibitions of local flora and
fauna and suggested Drum Manor as a venue.
By 1973 membership was 50 and speakers came largely from Q.U.B. Outings were well supported-but
meetings in Glenavon Hotel were expensive.
In 1978 Ian McNeill suggested approaching Mr. Young about a room in C.H.S.and in 1980 the club held its first
meeting in Coolnafranky House.
Into the 90’s membership was around 30, programmes included talks on butterflies, whooper swans,
organic farming, trees, hedgerows, deer and Ulster weather. Trips were popular.
The main worry was membership. Membership numbers fell, fees rose and the education programme
In 2005, Robert Stewart stepped down as Chairman after twenty years as a club stalwart.
Incoming Chair-person Madeline Dargan encouraged new members and instituted a column in a local
paper with a nature crossword competition and a prize for the winner. Thanks to Madeleine, we
obtained a Council grant enabling purchase of a projector screen and stand.
C.W.T. moved meetings to Loughry College. Speakers continued to be interesting and outings well
supported,especially Ian McNeill’s annual tour. Membership remained above 30.
Our web-site was set up by Ronnie Irvine, a Facebook site has also started, surveys have been
completed at Lissan House and attendance at Ripple Ballinderry Project meetings have taken place.
Our (2019-) Chairman is Ernie Hunter who succeeded Michael Mullan, Michael and Ernie with an
enthusiastic committee have increased attendance and involvement in recent years.
Founded: November 1960