When looking to honour a loved one who has unfortunately passed, a popular option is to scatter their ashes. By scattering your loved ones' ashes, you can choose a location that is personal to them, allowing you to celebrate the life they had before they passed. This could be at the seaside if they enjoyed being near the sea or in the countryside if they used to spend their time enjoying a walk in the fresh air. As long as it has a personal connection to your loved ones, no destination is wrong. To help you with scattering your loved ones' ashes, below we have put together 8 important things to know before scattering your loved ones' ashes.
Get Permission Before Scattering Ashes on Private Property
In the UK, if you would like to scatter ashes on private property, it’s important you get permission from the landowner before doing so. If possible, it’s advised that you get permission in writing and agree on a time that you will be scattering the ashes so it doesn’t come as a surprise to the owner. Private property could include parks, gardens, beaches, churchyards and more.
Remember large scale venues are private properties too
It’s important to remember that large locations such as theme parks are classed as private property (though they might not feel like it!), so it’s important to write in and gain permission to scatter your loved one's ashes there. Unfortunately, you may find large venues will not give permission due to the large number of requests they gain, but it’s always worth getting in touch as you never know. If you don’t get permission, don’t ignore these rules and scatter them as you can get a heavy fine, community service or even a prison sentence as it’s classed as a criminal offence.
Scattering ashes on a family grave or in a cemetery
If you are considering scattering your loved one's ashes at a cemetery, it’s important to contact the cemetery directly. The majority of cemeteries will allow you to scatter ashes but there are some that may not for various reasons. It could be that your chosen cemetery has a designated area for scattering ashes, known as a scattering garden that you can use. Most cemeteries will have the relevant information listed on their website before so it’s worth giving them a call.
Scattering ashes at sea
If your loved one enjoyed spending time by the ocean, it may be that you would like to celebrate their life by scattering their ashes at sea. In the UK, you do not usually need permission to scatter ashes at sea however there are a few environmental guidelines that you should follow. To find these regulations, you can visit the UK environmental agency website to learn more, alternatively, you could give them a call on 08708 506 506. Some of these guidelines include the location not being near a fishery or marina, your destination being less than 1km upstream from a water plant or reservoir and that you do it on a calm day to avoid the ashes getting caught by the wind.
Consider the wind conditions of your chosen location before scattering ashes
Before venturing out to your chosen destination, it’s always worth checking the weather conditions there as these can be very different to what you can see outside your window. It could be that you live in a city that is well sheltered and will be scattering your loved one's ashes near the sea that has high coastal winds. The last thing you want is to scatter the ashes for them to blow back onto land or even you as you release them from their urn. Remember, you can always delay scattering your loved ones' ashes until the weather conditions are suitable.
Remember to transport the ashes correctly
Depending on whether you are planning on flying with your loved ones' ashes or transporting them in a vehicle, you will have different requirements to fulfil. If you are planning on travelling in a car, then make sure the ashes are safely secured within the urn and that they are kept upright so that they don’t spill. If you are flying, remember to check the regulations of the country that you are flying to. The majority of countries will require a certificate of cremation and a copy of the death certificate. If you are unsure of any requirements your funeral director should be able to assist you.
Do not scatter your loved ones' ashes around crowds of people
You may think this is an obvious one, but it’s been done in the past. When choosing the location that you would like to scatter your loved ones' ashes at, make sure you avoid crowded places. Scattering ashes is a very emotional and personal time where you don’t want to be interrupted. By scattering ashes in a crowded area, the strangers around you could potentially get in the way of your special moment, ruining it for you. If you know an area is going to be crowded, try to visit during off-peak times to avoid there being too many others.
Get advice when choosing the right urn for their ashes
Don’t be afraid to get advice when selecting the urn for your loved ones' ashes. In the market, there is a whole plethora of choices for you to choose from, each with its own pros and cons. When choosing an urn you’ll want to consider the size, its intended use, the material, design and of course the cost. If you are confused at all, feel free to give one of our expert team members a call who can discuss the different options we have available.