How to go about scattering the cremated ashes of a loved one

Blasting them out into space.

Sending them up to the sky in fireworks.

Scattering them on football fields.

All of these are novel ways people have found to scatter cremated ashes. As you can see, there is no lack of creative ideas when it comes to dispersing cremains.

Cremation is now more popular than burials

The popularity of traditional funerals has fallen with up to 75 percent in the United Kingdom electing to be cremated. This often leaves loved ones with a dilemma of what to do with cremains. It is increasingly common that instructions or a will are left to the survivors outlining how the deceased wants their ashes scattered.

However, this still leaves the question of whether or not the requirements are legal or what permissions are required. Keep reading to learn about what to consider when you plan on scattering the ashes of a loved one.

Find out if any regulations affect the location of choice

Fortunately, the UK is pretty relaxed about the subject of what to do with cremains. The law does not specifically ban any areas as stated in the Cremation Act 1930. However, there are other agencies who offer advice and warnings about scattering ashes. This is what you can do with cremains:

  • Scattering ashes over water
    When scattering ashes at sea, inland rivers, and lakes — no permits are required. The Environment Agency (EA) offers recommendations on burials of this type and you are advised to contact them for further information. A scattering urn is a good idea to make the ceremony more practical and dignified.
  • National parks, mountain tops, and hillsides
    When scattering ashes at these types of locations, no permits are required. Scattering ashes in national parks has prompted various conservation groups to comment that while human remains are not toxic they can harm plant life. Our advice is to organize the event in advance and find somewhere off the beaten track to avoid unwanted passers-by.
  • Private land for scattering cremated ashes
    In these circumstances, get the permission of the landowner or if it is your land make sure you can visit the land in the future. The Environment Agency supplies recommendations on this subject and as such, you are advised to contact them.
  • Scattering cremated remains in cemeteries and churchyards
    How should you go about scattering ashes in these locations? Many want their ashes scattered over a loved one’s grave. This is very touching, however not all cemeteries and churchyards will allow this. Although, they usually have a scenic area, like a rose garden, where spreading ashes is acceptable.
  • Use fireworks to scatter cremains
    Talk about going out with a bang! A creative cremains idea is to have the ashes of a loved one placed in a firework. Choose your location — home or special place and whether to put the deceased in one firework or as part of a display.
  • Grow cremated ashes into a tree
    Scattering cremated remains in a woodland or planting them with a tree is a fitting memory. Remember to get permission from the land owner beforehand.
  • Cremains ideas for sports fans
    When it comes to creative things to do with your cremated ashes when you die — a great idea for a sports fanatic is to have them scattered at a sports grounds where you often play or are a lifelong fan. Again, make sure the land owner’s permission is given in advance.
  • Other considerations about how to scatter ashes
    If the deceased has not left you with instructions and there is no consensus as to how to scatter the ashes for them, then dividing the cremains amongst relatives is an option. This allows others to honour their life in their own unique way. Some may wish to have a scattering ashes ceremony or simply sprinkle the ashes in a special location.

Some may not wish to scatter their loved one’s ashes, rather have a memento made from them that will be eternal. It is increasingly popular to have jewellery made from the cremated ashes, such as a memorial diamond, which is how Heart In Diamond can help.

Whatever method you choose, make sure the relevant authority is informed and that a fitting location is chosen to celebrate the life of your loved one.