Scattering Ashes Guidance

Scattering ashes provides an opportunity to memorialize the deceased

Scattering ashes provides an opportunity to memorialize the deceased in a manner that is unique only to them. Scattering ashes is also thought to be the final act of release in setting the spirit free. Scattering ashes may be carried out responsibly by any authorised person. This may be a family member or friend. Some people leave instructions that their ashes are to be scattered at some special location important to them.

This might be a quiet garden, scenic place, lake, river, or the sea. Ashes may also be scattered from a light aircraft over either land or sea. Scatter tubes for ashes when this procedure is followed is strongly recommended.

Where may you scatter ashes in the UK?

You may scatter ashes in a variety of open places in UK. A garden of remembrance, in woodland or any green space, over water, or on private land. You may also scatter ashes in more than one place, if it is so wished, to please different family members, for example. Here are some other examples of where to scatter ashes:

Useful tips when scattering ashes

To avoid ashes blowing in one’s face and over one’s clothing, it is important to stand facing down wind holding the urn at waist height.

Do you need permission when scattering ashes?

In the UK, there is no explicit law against scattering ashes, so long as you get permission from the person who owns the land. If you want to scatter ashes over public or private land, you will need the permission of the landowner. That includes parks, commons, beaches, or private farmland and churchyards.
Scattering ashes laws & regulations in the UK state that you do not need permission to scatter ashes on your own land or over water. If in any doubt about the proximity to drinking water supplies, then advice should be sought from the Environment Agency.
There is no evidence to suggest that either the scattering of human ashes in rivers and streams or home burials have a negative impact on the environment. But other aspects of these practices, such as casting tributes and other objects into the water at the same time as the ashes, could harm the environment or upset other river users.
You do not need to request permission to scatter ashes over a river or the sea, but you should check the advice from the Environment Agency first.

Go Direct Cremations will advise on any aspect of scattering ashes, urns for ashes and scatter tubes for ashes and arrange a suitable vessel or aircraft according to each personal individual request.