Great Wall Protection Story- Learn from Zhang Heshan

The Great Wall extends 88.5 miles in Funing County, City in Hebei Province, and is mainly sections from the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). Zhang Heshan, an ordinary peasant who lives in Chengziyu Village near the wall, has been guarding the Great Wall for more than 20 years. From 1980, he volunteered to guard the wall, rain or shine. Every day he insists on patrolling five miles on the wall near his house and his footprints have already covered every corner of the Great Wall he protects.

Many people cannot understand his behavior. "It's not his business." They think. But to Zhang Heshan, the Great Wall means a lot. He has grown up at the foot of the wall, which records many sweet memories of his childhood. Besides following the plough, he devotes himself to protecting the Great Wall the rest of the time. On seeing people carve, daub, and gather herbs on the wall, he will immediately go up to stop them and tell them the importance of protecting the wall. At first, people don't listen to them.

William Lindsay

The poor villagers can gain a lot by gathering herbs and grabbing scorpions on the wall. Zhang's interference certainly stops their source of income. Some angry villagers even took revenge on him. However, Zhang's resolution to protect the Great Wall cannot be easily torn down. He keeps patrolling and persuading. Things improved in 2003 when the Funing Government set up a system, "Great Wall Safeguard," which divided the wall into 18 sections, each of them was guarded by a local peasant.

These safeguards obtain allowances from the government each year. Of course, Zhang Heshan is one of these honorable guards.

Under their effort, the Great Wall in their village is the best-preserved section in City and has avoided further man-made destruction.

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