Garden trail for Macmillan in East Sussex raises thousands

Seaford mayor Mark Brown cuts the ribbon.
Seaford mayor Mark Brown cuts the ribbon.

An annual garden trail which features gardens in Seaford, Newhaven and Piddinghoe raised a total of £7,500 for Macmillan.

Organiser Geoff Stonebanks, from Bishopstone, said 31 gardens across East Sussex opened to the public over the weekend of July 26 and 27.

The chair of Lewes District Council Tony Nicholson and mayor of Seaford Mark Brown attended the official opening on Saturday.

Geoff, whose garden Driftwood in Marine Drive was also part of the event, said: “Whilst I had hoped we might get even more over the weekend, it was extremely hot on the Saturday and prospective visitors probably headed to the beach instead.

“But I want to express my sincere thanks to all those who helped make the event a great success, especially the 30 other garden owners who worked hard to get their gardens ready for visitors.

“The weather was glorious and hundreds of visitors turned out to see the lovely gardens on show from Brighton along the coast to Eastbourne.”

This was the third time Geoff had staged the event and this year there were 21 gardens new to this trail.

Many garden owners sold plants and invited artists to come and display work in their garden for sale with a small percentage going to Macmillan.

Money was also raised through tickets and selling teas and snacks.

Macmillan manager in Sussex Sarah Coxhill said: “Wanted to say how bowled over I was at the extent of the growth of the event, the following, the coverage, the quality and the enthusiasm. Hope you’re feeling proud as punch with yourself and all that you’ve achieved.

“As you know it’s not just the funds you raise but the enormous awareness you raise around the build and which we are in need of. As I’ve often said the true impact of everything you’ve done and are doing can’t be measured but please know it makes an outstanding contribution to what we’re trying to do in Sussex.”

To open your garden in 2015 contact Geoff on 01323 899296.