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Where is the best place to scatter ashes?

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Published 17/08/2020
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Where is the best place to scatter ashes?
Scattering the ashes is one of the many traditions we do to help us grieve and accept the passing of a loved one. There may be many places you and the deceased shared fond memories and you might seem lost as to where to scatter the ashes. Here we will guide you through a few ideas on where and how you go about it.

Choosing a place to scatter the ashes

You might be so overwhelmed with places you could scatter your loved one’s ashes that it’s hard to narrow it down. If you feel you can’t decide on one place you don’t have to. Many people scatter the ashes in various places over various times, there is no rush or time frame on when you need to do it.

Can you scatter ashes anywhere in the UK?

In the UK the laws are fairly relaxed about scattering ashes. You can scatter the ashes almost anywhere as long as you get permission from the landowner. If you want to scatter the ashes on public land in the UK, such as on a beach for example, it is best to check with the Environment Agency to ensure that you’re not harming any nature or wildlife.

Is it a sin to scatter ashes?

Whilst scattering ashes is a tradition that helps us grieve for a lost loved one, it is worth noting that whilst cremation is fine with the Roman Catholic Church, "ashes to ashes", the spreading of ashes is frowned upon with ashes being interred at a RC cemetery being advised. It is worth checking with your faith leader if you have any concerns as regards the views of your religion. However the laws are very flexible about where you can scatter the ashes to allow anyone who chooses to have the freedom and opportunity to do so.

Ideas on where to scatter ashes:

  • On a beach, river or a stream
  • Within the boundaries of your favourite National Parks
  • On private land such as a garden or farmland
  • Common land such as a village green
  • A favourite sporting venue
  • Woodland burial ground, cemetery or churchyard

Preparing to scatter the ashes

Preparing to scatter your loved one’s ashes can be beneficial to make the moment a perfect send-off and help with the grieving process. Make sure you’re certain of the right place(s) and do it at a quiet time in a more secluded area if it’s a public place. Checking the weather would also help as you wouldn’t want the rain to spoil the moment.

What to say when scattering ashes?

There is no right or wrong answer. Say what comes from the heart and express how you feel. You might even choose to say nothing at all and instead have a moment of quiet reflection.

Scattering the ashes

On the day you might find it quite daunting and would prefer to have some support. Ask your family and friends to join you, they might be grieving too and it will be a special moment for you all to bond over. You may be all overwhelmed with a flood of emotions but this is a much healthier way to grieve than to bottle them up.

After scattering the ashes

The aftermath of scattering the ashes of your loved one can be really helpful with the grieving process. Once you’ve scattered the ashes you can always visit that special place. If you have shared memories with the deceased it will take you back to the happier times. Sharing the moment with family and friends means you have each other to talk about the moment which itself helps you express your emotions.

What if I don’t want to scatter the ashes?

There’s no right or wrong decision on what to do with the ashes. You don’t have to scatter them at all. You could keep them if it gives you comfort. A rising trend is turning the ashes into jewellery such as a necklace so they’re always with you.
Whatever you do with the ashes just take your time, prepare and do what feels right for you. We hope this helps make things clearer and guides you to your decision.
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