Wigan wildfire helpers to enjoy thank-you concert

Liam Roche, senior Groundwork development officer at Rivington Gardens
Liam Roche, senior Groundwork development officer at Rivington Gardens

Wiganers who joined hundreds of volunteers tackling the recent wildfire on Winter Hill have been invited to a special thank-you concert.

Everyone from firefighters and mountain rescue teams to members of the public have been given complementary tickets to this weekend’s event at Rivington Terraced Gardens, which were first opened to the public in 1948.

Liam Roche, senior development officer at Groundwork at the gardens, said: “As a charity, we want to say thank you to the emergency services and all the volunteers who helped deal with the blaze.”

The fire at Winter Hill burnt across seven square miles of moorland from June 28 to August 8.

Crews and volunteers helped save properties and vital infrastructure. Among them were Bolton Mountain Rescue Team members, who spent 2,100 combined man hours fighting the blaze.

The Rivington Gardens Trust also created fire breaks, cleared vegetation, felled trees, and staffed roadblocks to ensure the local community’ was kept safe from the flames.

Liam added: “Lots of people from the local business community have actually rallied round and donated things like the stage, food, beer, and also equipment for use and utilise on the site to help say a proper thank you.”

John Taylor from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The public response to the work of all involved in the Winter Hill moorland fire response has been overwhelming, and Rivington Heritage Trust’s ‘Big Thank You’ is a marvellous gesture too.

The recovery phase for Winter Hill is well underway, thanks to the work of local authorities, United Utilities, the Woodlands Trust and all the agencies involved in the process. We’re glad to have helped make such recovery possible and having ensured that the phenomenal work done by the Trust in restoring the Gardens was not undone by the fire.”

A total of 12 acts will take to the stage on Saturday, including James Holt, Spring Box, and Jordan Allen, running from 2pm to late.