AN 11-YEAR-OLD boy who climbed Roseberry Topping as a tribute to his late step-grandfather has made a return trip to clean up graffiti blighting a landmark on the famous hill.

Josh Heslop, of Ingleby Barwick was featured The Northern Echo last month after he cut off his pony tail and climbed Roseberry Topping, near Great Ayton, to raise £400 for the Great North Air Ambulance in memory of Adam McLauchlan of Stockton.

But when the photograph appeared one reader, Gerard Wild, of Richmond, wrote a letter for publication congratulating Josh but lamenting the graffiti on the white pillar, or trig point, that marks the highest point of the hill.

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The picture was also noticed by Echo columnist Harry Mead who wrote of his disappointment that vandals had targeted such an iconic North-East landmark.

After reading about the complaints in the newspaper, Josh, and his good friend, Charlotte Laidler, told Josh's mother, Zoe Heslop, they wanted to paint the pillar white once again.

Zoe Heslop said: "We would have loved to have just gone up there and painted it, but we contacted the rangers from the National Trust to ask permission and do it properly. It only took about 20 minutes to do, but it's a big improvement. Josh is just a few pounds away from his £400 target for the air ambulance. I couldn't be more proud of him and Charlotte."

Josh had his pony tail cut off for free by Imeson's Barbers in Thornaby after explaining his granddad used to tease him about it, and climbed Roseberry Topping with Charlotte because Mr McLauchlan was a big supporter of the service.