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Who gives you permission to scatter ashes on their land?

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

National Parks

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.


National Trust

“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

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.

Royal Parks

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


20 thoughts on “Who gives you permission to scatter ashes on their land?

  1. Reply
    James - 5th September 2019

    Would I be allowed to scattering a small about of ashes in a flower bed in Victoria Park – Bideford?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 9th September 2019

      Hi James
      It appears to be owned by Bideford Town Council, you would need to seek their permission. Here is the link – https://www.bideford-tc.gov.uk/10-about-the-town/28-victoria-park

  2. Reply
    Ian Fowler - 4th September 2019

    Am looking at scattering my late Fathers ashes at Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough, is there any limitations. Thank you in advance.

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 5th September 2019

      From what I can see the land is owned by Oliver’s Mount Racing it would be worth speaking to them first as they may be able to guide you
      Phone: 01723 333321
      Address: The Circuit Office, Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough YO11 2YW

  3. Reply
    Carol - 31st August 2019

    Is it okay to scatter ashes from the end off of a pier over the sea?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 2nd September 2019

      Yes, providing the pier owners don’t mind. Be careful they are windy and the ashes will blow about.

  4. Reply
    Teresa owen - 15th August 2019

    Our late mother would like her ashes scattered at Brecom Beacons by Storey arms
    Do we need permission to do this .can anyone advise who we need to speak to.the brecon beacons is a National park
    Many thanks
    Teresa Owen

    1. Reply
      Hannah - 16th August 2019

      Hi Teresa
      This is the information given on the Brecon Beacons website here: https://www.beacons-npa.gov.uk/the-authority/donations-and-legacies/memorials/

      Q Can I scatter ashes in the National Park?
      Scattering ashes in places which someone loved when they were alive is becoming more and more popular. If you want to scatter ashes in the National Park you should check that the place you have chosen has public access – for example is a footpath or a common. Please be respectful of other users of the countryside when you are scattering the ashes. Before you make the decision about where to do this though you may want to think about how you will feel later. If you think that you or other relatives or friends might want to go to the site and commemorate the person who has died then you should choose a cemetery or a green burial ground as your loved one’s final resting place since otherwise you will not be able to leave memorials in the countryside at the site.

  5. Reply
    Felicity Watd - 1st August 2019

    We would like to scatter our mother’s ashes in Holland Park, London. Mum walked in the park for 66 years. Is it allowed to scatter ashes there? F Ward

    1. Reply
      Hannah - 2nd August 2019
  6. Reply
    Jim Moulson - 23rd July 2019

    Is it possible to scatter ashes at the Fleet Air Arm Memorial, Embankment , London, or do I need to get permission from the Ministry of Defence?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 25th July 2019

      Dear Jim
      You would need permission, and if I am honest you are unlikely to get it. Due to space, the ground and the precedent. You could scatter on the Thames near to the memorial. Or contact Fleet Air Arm for their guidance.
      Kind regards

  7. Reply
    Rodney Butler - 26th June 2019

    Is it possible to scatter ashes on the Blorenge in Wales?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 4th July 2019

      I will look into it.


  8. Reply
    Wendy - 26th February 2019

    Would it be okay to scatter or bury my husbands ashes on The Knot, Arnside.

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 27th February 2019

      The Knot in Arnside is a beautiful spot, it is owned by the National Trust and as such it is possible that they will allow you to do this. You will need to contact the office responsible to acquire permission – here is the contact details https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/arnside-and-silverdale

  9. Reply
    philip newman - 15th February 2019

    could I be scattered on Preseli mountains.

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 26th February 2019

      Hi Philip
      Sorry for the delay, it is down to the land owners consent and the vast majority of the ownership will be in private hand. It would be worth contacting the Park Authority directly to what they own and whether they permit it. Here is the website -www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales

  10. Reply
    Katharine seymour - 14th July 2018

    I would like to scatter my fathers ashes on Snowdon. Is this allowed? If so do i need formal permission

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 17th July 2018

      The summit of Snowdon, is jointly owned by the Snowdonia National Park Authority, the National Trust and a private landowner. Yes you would need permission from the landowner. So, I suppose it depends where you were intending to scatter the ashes. The National Trust is likely to be the most amenable of the three, however often the summits of mountains are off limits because of many people wishing to use them to scatter and the ashes impacting the local environment. Also a lot of people visit the summmit so you would be unlikely to get privacy.

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