For many, scattering ashes allow their loved one to be laid to rest in a place that has sentimental value and connection for the person. It takes away the formality of a funeral and gives freedom to the family, allowing them to say goodbye in a way that feels right. However, understanding the legality around this process can be challenging – especially in times of grief. In this blog, we’ll provide you with the rules and regulations so you can focus on saying goodbye.

Can You Scatter Ashes in the UK?

In the UK, you can scatter ashes on land as long as you have permission from the landowner first. With permission, you can choose locations such as a Garden of Remembrance or across private land. This also applies to parks, beaches, farmlands or churches. Whether your loved one specified a location in their will or it is down to you as the Executor to choose the right location, you have more freedom in the UK to select somewhere meaningful.

If you wish to do so in a public park or green space, you must request permission from the local council (or do it very quietly!) This is normally granted, as long as you follow the environmental guidelines provided.

Can You Scatter Ashes at Sea?

The freedom of being scattered at sea is something that appeals to many people. In the UK, there is no requirement to gain permission to scatter ashes in the sea or a river.

Considerations you need to take into account include:

  • Ensuring the scattering site is not near a building, people fishing or marinas.
  • The location is more than 1km upstream of any abstraction of water.
  • Ashes are spread close to the surface of the water as possible.
  • You avoid spreading ashes on windy days as this could affect the people living or working nearby.

You must make sure that the ashes are scattered and not places in an urn. This is for environmental reasons. However, the act of scattering can feel very cathartic and help with the grieving process.

Can You Scatter Ashes on a Family Grave or in a Cemetery?

Some families have combined family graves. If a loved one asks to be cremated, you may wish to scatter them to rest at this location. You will need to check with the cemetery themselves as to whether they allow scattering ashes. Your designated Funeral Director will be able to help with this query. You may also find that the cemetery you desire has a designated spot for ash scattering.

Here at Wallace Stuart Limited, we listen to your family needs and gently guide you through each step of the process. If you would like more information about cremations or scattering your loved ones ashes, please do get in contact here today.

This blog will talk about the legalities and regulations surrounding scattering ashes here in the UK. It will talk about the need to get permission from the landowner and take into account environmental guidelines if scattering in a national park. Where relevant, it will include inner linking back to the main website.