Youngsters explore what lurks beneath Limerick lake

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

TADPOLES, insects, snails and swans all went under the microscope at Lough Gur when nature expert Geoff Hunt hosted a pond magic workshop by the bank of the famous lake.

TADPOLES, insects, snails and swans all went under the microscope at Lough Gur when nature expert Geoff Hunt hosted a pond magic workshop by the bank of the famous lake.

The early morning adventure saw wide-eyed children of all ages from across County Limerick arrive with nets and plastic bottles in hand for the educational workshop which focused on the various creatures that live beneath the magical waters.

“All the children bring a plastic bottle and they see what they can catch with their nets. Whatever they catch, Geoff explains what it is,” explained Rosaleen Wallace, administrator at the Honey Fitz Theatre who organised the event.

“They learn all about the wildlife which is around the lake and the insects. He explains what they are, what their lifespan is and their living environment. There is a lot of variety,” she added.

During the two-hour workshop Mr Hunt also educated the children about the different species of birds in the area.

“He uses toy birds which have the sound of the bird song that each bird makes,” Rosaleen continued.

While the children explored the great lake and its inhabitants their parents were able to relax at the lake’s picnic area.

Anne-Marie Kelly from Ballysheedy was doing just that when she was snapped by the Leader photographer.

Anne-Marie made the journey to the lake-shore on Saturday morning with her three children Aisling, 5, Selena, 4, and Rachel, 2, and their friend Clara Hannon from Ballyneety.

“It was lovely and really enjoyable. It was really good for the four to five years olds - very informative. Geoff was very good with the kids and enthusiastic about what they found,” she said.

Aisling and Selena, their mum said benefited greatly from the experience.

“They really loved it. They would bring over their nets to Geoff and he would go through everything with them.”

Aisling was even repeating information that Geoff told her, later in the day.

“It’s very different to what you usually get – it is more unusual to get the pond experience,” said Anne-Marie.

The Kellys are regular visitors to Lough Gur and the experience has been made all the more enjoyable for them now that the shop has opened in the heritage centre.

“They go all the time and now the shop has opened it is even better because they can get their ice-cream,” smiled Anne-Marie.