GRATEFUL young people met their firefighting heroes to say a big thank you for their efforts in battling the wildfire on Winter Hill and keeping them safe.

All week, posters, created by schoolchildren, have been on display in and around the Astley Bridge and Belmont area to show how thankful they and the community are as they continue to fight the moorland fire in searing temperatures.

In a rare break, firefighters were able to view all the posters and meet those who had designed them.

Watch manager Richard Henthorne said: “They posters do make you smile.

“They look wonderful.

“Everyone has been so supportive and generous with the donations they have made and have been so well received by the crews.

“It has been hard on Winter Hill, really draining so this does help raise morale.”

Young people at Sharples High School, Thornleigh Salesian College, The Oaks Primary, High Lawn Primary School, St Paul’s CE Primary School, Holy Infant RC Primary School, Astley Baptist Church’s Sunday School, and Bolton Lads and Girls Club’s Barlow Park youth group were involved.

Rowan Edlington from Sharples School said: “I live near Winter Hill and see the firefighters working to tackle the fire. They have worked so hard and they deserve our thanks and to know how grateful we all are.” Some of the posters depict firefighters battling the blaze and others of wildlife returning to Winter Hill.

As well as the posters, children at St Paul’s CE Primary School wrote postcards to give to the firefighters. One read: “Everyone in the United Kingdom is cheering you on your mission to tackle the blazing inferno.”

Maasriah Patel, aged 11, from St Paul’s CE Primary, added: “They are putting their lives at risk for all of us who live in Bolton. We just want to say thank you. All the posters and pictures look really good.”

Terence Akowuah, aged 12 said: “The form worked together to design and create the posters so we could show our appreciation for their hard work.”

Ward councillor, Paul Wilde said: “The children have done a wonderful job and shows how the community have joined together."