More gardens wanted for Coastal Garden Trail

Coastguard Cottage, Newhaven
Coastguard Cottage, Newhaven

The organiser of a Sussex garden trail which raises money for Macmillan is appealing for more people to open their gardens to the public.

Geoff Stonebanks, from Bishopstone, launched the Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail in 2012 and since then the annual event has gone from strength.

In its first year nine gardens took part from Saltdean to Seaford, in 2013 a total of 21 gardens flung open their gates to the public and 18 gardens have already signed up for 2014.

Geoff said: “It’s quite amazing how everyone enjoys the day, even those who dread it as the event draws near, say how uplifting and enjoyable the day was talking to visitors.”

The Macmillan Garden Trail will be held from July 26-27 this year.

In 2013 the event raised an impressive £5,200.

All the money raised went directly to the new cancer support centre in Brighton.

Geoff runs the Driftwood Fundraising Group, which organises the trail, and over the last two years has raised more than £12,000 for Macmillan.

Pat Latham, who opened her garden in Eastbourne last year, said: “Wow - really well done Geoff and everyone - it has been a pleasure to take part this year.

“We had a great time at Cranborn Avenue and the weather was just perfect.

“Your organisation and commitment are amazing Geoff - and what a brilliant amount raised. Thank you and well done.”

Macmillan Cancer Support has confirmed that work will commence building the centre at the end of February 2014 and still need a further £1.27m.

And of course Geoff is urging people to put the date in their diaries for the garden trail, which promises to be an inspiration to those interested in horticulture and a way to raise funds for a good cause.

Full details about the trail can be found at or by calling Geoff on 01323 899296.