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Did you know that there are over 12,000 lakes in Ireland ? Most of these are found in the midlands and along the west coast, and were formed at the end of the last ice-age.

Lakes are a great natural habitat for brown trout, pike, eel, bream and many smaller insects like the may-fly or the grasshopper.

Some of the well-known lakes in Ireland are Lough Derg, Lough Erne, Lough Neigh, and Inch Lake .

Do you know where these lakes are?

Look at a map of Ireland to help you, and see what other lakes you can find.

Lough Carra

Lough Carra in Co. Mayo is one of Ireland ’s greatest wildlife sanctuaries. It is a limestone lake that covers 4,000 acres. The limestone is very soft and chalky, and this prevents much vegetation growing.

Lough Carra supports a large population of water birds. You can see the mute swan here, as well as some visiting swans in the winter-time. The whooper swan comes from Iceland and the bewicks swan flies in all the way from Siberia .

There are more than just swans! Snipe, waders, occasional geese and common terns are all regulars at Lough Carra, and it even holds the record for 150 pairs of breeding mallard.

Did you know that out of the twenty-four species of orchids found in Ireland , nineteen of them are found on Lough Carra?