British man devoted to keeping Great Wall tidy

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William Lindesay, a British man obsessed with the majesty of the Great Wall, has been committed to protecting the environment there for decades.

A file picture of William Lindesay (Photo source: Beijing Morning Post)

A 78-day trip along the Great Wall from Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu province to Hebei's Shanghai Pass in the 1980s fulfilled his childhood dream, leaving him impressed by the charm of the ancient structure.

The environment at the Great Wall and its surrounding areas has been deteriorating in the past 20 years, as the number of visitors has been on the increase, said 58-year-old Lindesay.

Trash can be found everywhere around the Wall, from the nearby highways and roads to the out-of-the-way mountain trails, he said.

Lindesay formerly worked at Xinhua News Agency and China Daily, but has devoted himself to protection and research work at the Great Wall since 2001, when he founded the organization "International Friends of the Great Wall."

He launched a campaign in 2002 to encourage people to collect their own garbage from the scenic spot.

He also motivated his family to join him in cleaning up trash at the scenic spot. His Chinese wife Wu Qi has become a die-hard partner in protecting the Great Wall environment, and with his two sons' participation, the team has continued to grow.

Lindesay has even come up with his own slogan: "He who does not love the Great Wall is not a man," a clever take on the Wall's famous slogan, which says, "He who does not reach the Great Wall is not a man."

He has also launched projects with the Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage to better preserve the structure.

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