Mid-Ulster has an interesting range of exposed geological strata, from schists and gneisses almost 400 million years old to much more recent Lough Neagh Clays laid down around 50 million years ago. South of Cookstown, Ballinderry and Killymoon Rivers provide a significant wildlife corridor. The Ballinderry flows east from Kildress,through Killymoon Estate and is joined by the Killymoon river just south of Killymoon Castle. East of Cookstown, the Ballinderry flows past Drapersfield, through the village of Coagh and eventually into Lough Neagh close to Ardboe. The main areas of woodland in the district are found in Tullylagan Manor, Drum Manor, Killymoon Castle, Lissan House, Loughry, Drumcairn, Springhill and Carndaisy. Many of these are old estates, Carndaisy being the exception . Most planting took place between 200 and 250 years ago and a few original trees still survive, certainly one beech tree in Drum Manor (sadly now cut down) and an oak in Killymoon are at least 200 years old . There are still remnants of more ancient woodland along the Ballinderry river , the oldest example being an ancient oak known as the Drummond oak, possibly the oldest oak in the north of Ireland and between 400 and 500 years old .This impressive tree lies about 1000yds. east of Killymoon Castle on the opposite bank of the river and east of the long abandoned railway line . North of Cookstown, the most significant area of high ground is Slieve Gallion. From the summit, Lough Neagh is visible to the east in a broad lowland basin,beyond lie the Belfast Hills. Looking south, the undulating Mournes can be seen on a clear day - all of 50 miles away. The skyline to the northwest is dominated by the ‘ Sperrins ' . Saul and Dart can be picked out by those who know the area . When the air is sharp and clear, even the unmistakable shapes of Muckish and Errigal in distant ‘Donegal’ can be seen .
Our area
© R.Irvine2011
Cookstown Wildlife Trust
Founded: November 1960
Lough Fea a cold upland lake (Kettle Hole) surrounded by low hills made up from glacial sands and gravels. provides the water supply for Cookstown district. Lough Fea lies about five miles north of the town. The local Council has completed an attractive three mile circular walk around the lough. This draws many local walkers, most of whom treat the facility with respect. However, most of us object to dog faeces deposited along the path.