Where to scatter ashes in the UK is a question you may need answering when planning your own funeral or the funeral of a loved-one. In the UK we are lucky in that there is no explicit legislation surrounding where you can dispose of cremated ashes. You can keep them in an urn, scatter them, or even bury the in your own garden. If you plan to scatter ashes on ground that belongs to a landowner, you must however seek their permission before doing so. Scattering ashes may not be allowed at a family grave in a cemetery however, depending on the rules in place. If you wish to scatter ashes abroad, you will need to adhere to strict legislation surrounding the transport of the ashes.
Where you deem fit to scatter ashes will also depend on your religion. Below is a look at the main different religions; for more information you should contact the leader of the relevant faith.
According to Buddhist tradition, the body of the decease is cremated. In some Buddhist cultures however, burial is preferred. This is often the case if one or both of the parents of the deceased is still alive. This however is more of a cultural practice as opposed to one that is directly attached to the religion.
The ban on cremation imposed by the Catholic Church was lifted in 1963. As from 1966, Catholic priests have been able to officiate at cremation ceremonies. Officially, the Catholic religion still prefers burial, although cremation is permitted. The ashes of the deceased however cannot be scattered and must be kept in a cremation urn. This due to the Catholic belief that the body should be treated as a whole after death and that resurrection of the body is still possible.
The Church of England permits cremation, the ashes being disposed of by a minister in a churchyard. What this means is that the ashes of the deceased should be buried. They can however be scattered is the bishop of the church has designated land for the purpose. Knowing what land can be chosen is something that your local diocese can help you with. Traditionally bodies were buried, but this is now a cultural preference, the burial of the body being shown as a mark of respect for the deceased.
Cremation is more than just the scattering of ashes within the Hindu religion; it is a way to release the soul of the deceased. If the body is not cremated, then the soul will remain near for months. Generally the only deceased who are not cremated are unnamed babies. The ashes of the deceased will be scattered up to 14 days after the death. The ashes must be cast into a river, ideally the Ganges, and the mourners must then depart without looking back.
Traditionally, Jewish people were buried rather than cremated. This was the case up until the early 20th century. At this time, many of the European Jewish cemeteries were running out of space, and cremation was then approved as a way of disposing the corpse of the departed. Burial is still the preferred option, but current movements in Judaism support cremation. Orthodox Jews however forbid cremation due to their beliefs of the resurrection of the body. Conservatives Jewish groups also outlaw cremation.
Islam also disapproves of cremation, the body being bathed, wrapped, and buried without a casket within 24 hours of the death. A single piece of cloth is used as a funeral shroud for the purpose.
Sikhism rituals are different from Hinduism, but one thing they have in common is the strewing of ashes over water. Families living outside of India may prefer to take ashes to Punjab.