Great Wall Protection Story - Lindsay's Affection for Great Wall

William Lindsay, from Great Britain, has deep affection for the Great Wall. When in primary school, he showed special interest in maps and the saw-tooth line on maps caught his eyes. He made up his mind to visit the line, that is, the Great Wall of China

William Lindsay

In May, 1987, Lindsay realized his dream. He spent 78 days hiking 1,553 miles from Jiayuguan Pass to Shanhaiguan Pass on the Great Wall, thus becoming the first foreigner to complete the wall hiking. But this tall man hit trouble when he walked alone along the Yulin Great Wall in northern Shaanxi while taking pictures, which attracted local villagers' attention. "What is he doing here? Where is he from?" they wondered. Finally, police came to investigate his motive behind his seemingly weird behavior. He explained and showed his love for the wall, but in vain. At last, he could do nothing but leave.

During the following years, though visiting China several times, Lindsay didn't have opportunity to visit the Wall and Zhenbeitai, until April 8, 2005, when he was invited to walk on the Wall by a friend. The 18-year dream was realized on that day. He not only loves the Great Wall, but as a graduate majoring in geology, he made many geographical analyses of the wall.

Due to his contribution to protecting the Great Wall, he was awarded the "Friendship Honorary" by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, P.R. China. In 1998, Zhu Rongji, the Chinese Premier at that time, gave him an interview. In 2001, he established an international association "Friends of the Great Wall". In his opinion, the best way to protect the wall is to build national parks around it. In 2006, he received the Order of the British Empire and was interviewed by the British Queen Elizabeth II, honoring his effort in protecting the Great Wall as well as in promoting the cultural relationship between China and Great Britain.

In Aug.5, 2007, Lindsay received another honor, the title of "Honorary Citizen of City". He is greatly encouraged by these awards from China and Britain and will carry on his contribution to Great Wall protection.

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