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, the Ballinderry and Killymoon Rivers provide a significant
wildlife corridor. The Ballinderry flows from Kildress, west to east through
Killymoon Estate and is joined by the Killymoon river just south of Killymoon
Castle. East of Cookstown the Ballinderry flows past Drapersfield, runs 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 areas are old estates, Carndaisy being the
Most planting took place between 200 and 250 years ago and a few of the
original trees still survive , certainly one beech tree in Drum Manor (sadly now cut
down) and one in Killymoon are at least 200 years old . There are still remnants
of much 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 clearly visible to the east in a broad lowland basin and beyond, 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 easily by those who know the area . When the air is
sharp and clear, the unmistakable shapes of Muckish and Errigal in distant Donegal are obvious .
Lough Fea provides the water supply for
Cookstown district, it lies about five miles north of
Cookstown, a cold upland lake immediately
surrounded by low hills made up from glacial sands
and gravels. The local Council has recently
completed an attractive three mile circular walk
around the lough. This draws many local walkers ,
most of whom treat the facility with respect .