You need permission to scatter ashes if you wish to do it on someone else’s land.
Those that give permission to scatter ashes on their property
It is up to the individual park authority. However, as the North Yorkshire Park says – There is no hard and fast rule. You should start by asking the person who owns the land on which you would like to spread the ashes.
The National Park Authorities don’t own the land they are like a planning authority. As they say – Not ours – but ours to look after.
The National Parks:
- England – Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, New Forest, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, the South Downs and the Broads which has equivalent status to a National Park.
- Wales – Brecon Beacons, Pembrokeshire Coast and Snowdonia.
- Scotland – Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
“The National Trust does not have a formal policy on this but is happy to consider requests on the basis that there are no environmental problems (i.e. possible contamination of water courses or sources, no accompanying permanent or indeed ephemeral markers), that it is not against any wishes that may have been expressed by a donor [of the property], and that the act of scattering the ashes is done discreetly and in private with no interference with others enjoyment of a property. We would also not expect that visitors to the property could see any visual presence of ashes. If these conditions can be met and subject to local arrangements being made with the General Manager or Property Manager at the appropriate property, consent can be granted.” – www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Royal Society of the Protection of Bird (RSPB) reserves
Yes, they are open to people scattering at their sites, but it is down to the sensitivity of the site, this is the main page for the RSPB
Woodland Trust Property
Yes, theoretically but with a lot of exclusions – Woodland Trust
Kew Gardens and Wakehurst gardens permit the scattering of ashes. They ask for a donation for the upkeep of the gardens. The main page on Kew Gardens
National Trust for Scotland
“The Trust has no formal policy which would cover all situations across the wide range of properties that we have responsibility for in Scotland. The Trust is respectful of peoples’ wishes but must have regard for a wide range of issues including the environmental impact on soils, plants, rivers and streams.
Broad guidelines are available to Trust Managers and any proposal or arrangement for the scattering of ashes or any associated ceremonies should be discussed and agreed with individual property managers beforehand. Contact details are available on the Trust’s website. If proposals are deemed acceptable, the advice given may include specific locations and appropriate times of day with regard for other planned events and consideration for other visitors.
For the avoidance of doubt there would be a presumption against the erection of any sort of memorial, however temporary.” – www.nts.org.uk
Wildlife Trust for Scotland
They are open to people scattering at their sites but people would need to contact the individual site. Here is the main page for Wildlife Trust for Scotland
Those that don’t permission to scatter ashes on their property
Peaks in Scotland and Wales
Welsh conservationists and The Mountaineering Council of Scotland have asked bereaved relatives to avoid the most popular sites and even to bury ashes rather than scatter them. They feel that it has a significant impact on plant life. It has been recommended that, when considering a chosen spot for the disposal of your ashes, people should avoid iconic mountain tops, by opting instead for a corrie, a certain point along a ridge or beside a particular tree on the lower slopes of a mountain.
Here is what the Ben Nevis Partnerships says: “While no attempt will be made to dissuade anyone from scattering human ashes on Ben Nevis, you should try to choose an area away from the summit cairn, and also away from the north face on which a number of alpine plants struggle to survive.”
States: “We would prefer that you don’t. These remains contain high levels of minerals and other elements. This, over time, can sterilise the soil and leach into watercourses. This disrupts the delicate natural balance.”
Jane Austen’s House
They do not permit the scattering of ashes in the property or gardens
Note: we have a lot more information different places – see our blog post on location