Sponsored unicycle ride to pay for new saplings

Brianna Baxter on her unicycle. Picture: Greg Macvean
Brianna Baxter on her unicycle. Picture: Greg Macvean
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THE saplings were planted and all the children had to do was wait until the fruits of their labour appeared before their eyes.

Delighted they had been chosen as the site of a new wooded area, the children of Sciennes Primary had worked studiously on their planting project with members of an eco-charity called Plant-for-the-Planet.

But expectations of the lofty wooded glade to be were abruptly felled when bungling council workers sent to mow the grass failed to spot the tiny trees, many so small they were still being supported by 
cardboard tubing.

Rather than put a stop to their planet-saving ambitions, the mistake has inspired one Primary Five pupil to take 
further action.

On Sunday Brianna Baxter Stevenson, ten, will unicycle the entire 2500m length of the Forth Road Bridge, with all her sponsorship money going towards planting 2500 new trees. Brianna explained: “Plant-for-the-Planet came to our school a few months ago and helped us plant all the trees and made us all Climate Justice Ambassadors. I was on my way to school a couple of weeks ago and I saw that all the trees had been cut down at the same time as the grass. They were only little saplings and the men cutting the grass maybe didn’t realise what they were, though some of them did have little cardboard tubes around them.”

However, this setback has only made her even more 
determined to complete her challenge.

Brianna, who lives in Newington with dad David Stevenson, mum Andrea Baxter and brother Rhodri, 14, said: “The unicycle had actually been my brother’s but he didn’t really have the patience to learn how to ride it. I got it out of the shed last summer and spent about a month teaching myself in the back garden. Now I 
unicycle to and from school every day. Most people are used to it by now but I still get the occasional odd look.”

And she feels her daily 
one-wheeled commute has more than prepared her for what lies ahead.

She continued: “I thought the Forth Road Bridge was quite a dramatic place to do it and I hope the fact that it’s one metre per tree will capture the imagination and hopefully get more sponsors and more trees!”

A spokesman for Plant-for-the-Planet said it was “a shame” that the saplings had been accidently cut down.

He said: “Brianna is one of many thousands of climate justice ambassadors that support the initiative with their activities.

Her plan is a great and very creative way of doing 
so, which makes me very happy.”

The council has also sent out an olive branch to the 

A council spokesman said: “We are really sorry for any upset caused and are happy to meet with the school to discuss replacing the saplings with new ones.”

To sponsor Brianna visit https://www.betterplace.org/en/projects/13521-forth-road-bridge-unicycle-challenge.