Advice on scattering ashes

Many people choose to scatter the ashes of a loved one in a location with a personal meaning or a connection to the person who has died. However, people are often unsure exactly what rules are in place about where then can and cannot scatter ashes.

Confusion could arise because there is conflicting advice in the public arena regarding whether ashes scattering is permitted.

This is in part caused by a lack of clarity regarding the legal regulations and confusion over whether scattering ashes can be harmful to the environment.

Advice on scattering ashes:

  • Find out who owns the land and seek their permission before you scatter ashes.
  • Scatter in a secluded area, ideally away from other people and avoiding the main pathways.
  • Be aware of the environment - avoid areas of special conservation and try not to disturb the ground.
  • Try to avoid busy periods such as Bank Holidays.
  • Try to avoid windy days.
  • If scattering on a cliff-top, check that no one is walking underneath before scattering.
  • Avoid scattering on land where animals are grazing.
  • Use an ashes scattering container, known as a ‘scatter tube’ to help you scatter the ashes.
  • Memorials such as benches, plaques or plants should not be placed unless permission has been granted by the land owner.


If you'd like to speak to someone about what to do with your loved one's ashes, your local funeral home would be happy to help you, or you can read our article - What to do with ashes.