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Lazy Beds

These potato rigs are located just north of Cargan, a village in County Antrim. They have been formed with a special spade called a loy and are sometimes called lazybeds, because the sod was not removed but turned over with the loy onto the potato tubers. These can still be seen in some parts of Ireland when the sun is low or, as here, when a scattering of snow highlights the undulations in the land surface. They reflect a time when potatoes were widely grown in rural Ireland and when population densities were much higher than today. The potato famine in Ireland in the years around 1845 caused the abandonment of much marginal land which had previously been used for cultivation leaving just the potato rigs and, occasionally, old farmsteads.