Pottering in the garden is a pensioners’ favourite pastime, a survey has confirmed.

Carry On star Barbara Windsor is a keen gardener

Carry On star Barbara Windsor is a keen gardener

Gardening is the activity which gives over 65s the most pleasure in life, according to a poll by Age UK.

Its research revealed that 3.8million Brits (38 per cent of over 65s) relished getting their fingers dirty outdoors.

In comparison, going for walks was favoured by 28 per cent of pensioners, while a quarter enjoyed reading
a newspaper.

The survey was carried out to mark Age UK’s Living Your Way campaign. It aims to help older people stay independent for as long as possible.

Charity director-general Michelle Mitchell said: “Having a positive attitude and being able to enjoy the little pleasures of life are important for our well-being.”

The charity put its findings to celebrities to see if they were in agreement. Actress Prunella Scales, of Fawlty Towers fame, backed the study.

She said: “One of my age-defying therapies is planting seeds and watching them grow.”

Carry On film star Barbara Windsor, who is known to drop into the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, said: “I love to reminisce with people about times gone by and the wonderful people I’ve known and worked with.”

One in six over 65s said they take pleasure in saying what they think – and not worrying about the consequences!

However, the poll of 1,200 pensioners found that priorities changed later into retirement.

Over 85s rated listening to the radio as their favourite pastime (29 per cent) followed by sharing their many years of wisdom with family and friends (28 per cent).

Being able to potter in the garden had to settle for third place among over 85s, taking
26 per cent of the vote.