Cavan is one of three counties situated in the province of Ulster without being part of Northern Ireland. The county is bordered by County Monaghan, County Leitrim, County Longford, County Meath, County Westmeath and County Fermanagh. Area: 1,931 km² (746 square miles). Population (census 2006): 63,961. The county town is Cavan.vThe county is characterised by drumlin countryside dotted with many lakes and hills. The north-western area of the county is sparsely populated and mountainous. The Breifne mountains contain the highest point, Cuilcagh, at 665 metres (2,182 feet).
Cavan is the source of many rivers. Shannon Pot on the slopes of Cuilcagh is the source of the River Shannon, the longest river in Ireland at 386 km (240 mi). The River Erne is a major river which rises from Beaghy Lough, two miles (3 km) south of Stradone in Cavan and flows for 120 km (75 mi) to Lough Erne. Other rivers in the county include the Blackwater River, which rises near Bailieborough and flows through Lough Ramor, joining the River Boyne at Navan; the Dee which springs near Bailieborough; the River Annalee which flows from Lough Sillan and joins the Erne; and the Cladagh river which rises from Cuilcagh and flows into Fermanagh. The Glyde and the Owenroe also source in Cavan. Cavan is known as 'The Lakeland County' and is reputed to contain 365 lakes. Lough Sheelin is the county's largest lake; it is situated in the south of the county and forms a three way border on its waters between counties Meath, Westmeath and Cavan.
A large complex of lakes form in the north and west of Cavan into designated Specially Protected Areas (SPA); an example is Lough Oughter. Other important wildlife protected lakes such as Lough Gowna and Lough Ramor are in the south and east of the county. Cavan has a mainly hilly (drumlin) landscape and contains just under 7,000 hectares (17,000 acres) of forested area, 3.6% of Cavan's total land area. The county contains forests such as Bellamont Forest near Cootehill, Killykeen Forest Park at Lough Oughter (a Coillte state forest concern), Dún na Rí Forest Park and the Burren Forest.
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Cavan Birdwatch are delighted to be writing an article each month for the Anglo Celt; our local paper. We will post the articles here after they have been published.
Killykeen Forest Park is located in a very scenic area of Co Cavan. It lies on the shores of Lough Oughter which is part of the River Erne system. The forest park consists of approx 240 hectares. The predominant species are Norway and Sitka Spruce with a considerable amount of mixed woodland including Ash, Oak and Beech. Lough Oughter is renowned for course fishing with the main species of fish being pike, bream and perch. There are four signposted walks, and a family cycle trail in Killykeen Forest Park.
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