Top places considered to scatter ashes in the UK
4 October 2021 by Jane Golding
Scattering a loved ones ashes in a meaningful place is one of the most popular options for commemorating them. Would you know where you could do it and whose authority you would need to obtain?
In the UK there are almost no laws on scattering of ashes but in some cases some organisations including the Environment Agency and others have issued guidelines on scattering ashes in fragile environments.
Where can you scatter ashes?
There are many different places that you can scatter ashes in the UK but here are some of the most popular:-
- Private Land: You may want to scatter your loved one on private land, such as a garden or filed. You will need to consider that if you want to do this, then you must have the landowner’s permission. You will also need to consider visiting rights. g. if you scatter ashes in your garden but then many years later you move house, you will not have any right to visit that private land.
- Rivers, Streams, lakes and the Sea: Another choice of scattering of ashes is across water. You do not need to ask permission in order to do this however it is advisable to check with the Environment Agency on the area you intend to use.
Scattering ashes at sea can be a more affordable alternative than to a burial at sea. A burial at sea involves the obtaining of a licence and a special coffin requirements, whilst to scatter ashes at sea you do not need a licence. Many beaches or coastlines are accessible to the public but you must be considerate of other people who would be using the area.
The Environment Agency ask that you do not cast any plastic wreaths or personal items that contain metal or plastic into water bodies as this will pollute the environment.
- Mountain or hilltops: Scattering of ashes on mountain and hilltops can provide a beautiful setting for saying goodbye. Although cremation ashes are not toxic the phosphate in the cremated bones can over stimulate plant growth if scattered in large amounts. Many mountaineering clubs request that permanent memorials especially ones made from non-biodegradable material are not left anywhere on mountains or hilltops.
- Woodland burial ground, cemetery or churchyard: Many crematoriums, cemeteries and woodland burial sites have designated sections for scattering ashes such as family grave sites or memorial gardens. You would need to get in touch with your funeral director or cemetery or crematorium officer for more information, advice and to seek permission to scatter ashes.
- Sporting Venues: Some people desire their ashes to be scattered at their favourite football stadium, rugby ground, cricket pitch and horse facing grounds. Your funeral director will be able to help you approach the owner of the sporting venues to ask permission, but this usually depends on the policy of the club.
- National Trust site: The National Trust owns many places of historic interest across the UK and they can make for a unique and personal send-off. Whilst the National Trust does not have a formal policy on scattering of ashes, many families have been granted permission in the past.
- Divide the Ashes: It is perfectly acceptable to divide the ashes and scatter them in several different locations. If you cannot decide on one location or if some family members have their own ideas, it can be a great way to fulfill the wishes of the deceased and those who are mourning the death.
When deciding to scatter ashes you may want to discuss the options with other relatives and loved ones as they may want to know where you choose, in case they wish to pay their respects in future.
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