BROADCASTER Peter Sissons visited Notcutts to lend his support to the Look Out Your Old Specs campaign whereby the garden centres are collecting old spectacles for Vision Aid Overseas' Helping The World To See project to send them on to third world countries.

With the successful Rake Out Your Old Tools campaign under their belts (having last year sent 45 crates of tools off to third world countries in partnership with Salesian College, Farnborough), all 13 garden centre managers were eager to embark on another campaign and voted to collect glasses, complementing the theme of Notcutts' Chelsea 2002 exhibit The Sensory Garden.

Peter Sissons said: "If you wear glasses that allow you to enjoy the beauties of nature, why not give Notcutts your old pair for them to give to people in other countries so that they too can enjoy the beauty that surrounds them."

The campaign will start on the Monday of the Chelsea Flower Show, May 20, and runs for four weeks until Sunday, June 16. Vouchers worth 10% off plants will be given to anyone who brings their old specs to Notcutts.

Tym Marsh, director of VAO, said: "As the charity plans its 100th project to Ghana this month, we need resources of all kinds to continue our important work. We are very grateful to Notcutts Garden Centres for their support.

"We are making a real difference to the lives of many people but there is so much more to do and we are determined to expand and improve our work so that we can truly live up to our strap line, ‘Helping the world to see'."

As the gardening season gets underway Notcutts is also collecting old plastic flowerpots and recycling them.

To give the campaign a kick start and to encourage customers to bring the pots into the garden centres, depending on the quantity of pots returned Notcutts will give up to £500 in plants to a local cause.

Old plastic flowerpots have been a nuisance for years, often stacking up in the corner of the garden, shed, greenhouse or garage, and are perceived as an environmental problem.

Few pots are recycled and most that are used in the industry are not biodegradable. This is now causing greater public concern and interest.

In addition, the courts have currently ruled that where a plant is sold, the pot is defined as packaging and this has implications for waste management.

Customers at the garden centres should look out for the flowerpot person or the recycling container to leave their flowerpots in a designated area. If in doubt, ask a member of Notcutts staff who will be happy to help.

Said garden writer, broadcaster and nurseryman Bob Purnell: "As a nurseryman and garden writer I support any initiative that recycles old plastic pots and I am pleased that Notcutts are taking the lead on this."