CROWDS of garden visitors helped raised thousands of pounds for a new cancer treatment centre.

Despite poor weather, the fifth annual Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail raised £5,300 on Saturday and Sunday for the Macmillan Horizon Centre due to open at Bristol Gate in Brighton, near the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

It saw 28 gardens open between Hove and Seaford, 12 of which were new this year. Since it began it has raised more than £40,000 for the cause.

Lewes MP Maria Caulfield and mayor of Seaford Lindsay Freeman, opened the trail at organiser Geoff Stonebank's garden Driftwood, in Bishopstone, on Saturday. [9/7]

Ms Caulfield said: "I couldn't think of many better ways to spend a Saturday in Sussex than by visiting some of the county's most spectacular gardens, particularly with this fantastic event raising thousands of pounds for the the centre."

Sarah Coxhill, Macmillan's senior fundraising manager in Sussex, said: "We understand the amount of drive that goes into getting this together and delivering such an outstanding weekend for all the visitors. The weather is always so hard to predict but despite that it didn't dampen spirits."

Details of next year's event will be released soon.