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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.” –

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, but they have a lot of woodland that is sensitive – so you need to check with them first – 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.” –

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


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

  1. Reply
    Samuel Aitcheson - 29th July 2023

    Would I be allowed to scatter some of my wife ashes in DYCE CEMETERY ABERDEEN SCOTLAND

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 4th August 2023

      Hi Samuel
      The first step would be to contact the cemetery themselves. This is likely to be Aberdeen City Council.

      Kind regards

  2. Reply
    Albertarose - 7th June 2023

    Does anyone know if I can scatter ashes near the battlefield at Hastings? My stepfather specifically requested this, and he has since passed and we have tried to contact them and not had any reply at all.


    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 23rd June 2023


      These are the best details I can find
      01424 775705

      It is an English Heritage site – they would be the only ones to give permission.
      Kind regards

  3. Reply
    Darren Walker - 20th November 2022


    I was wondering whose permission you would need to scatter ashes in Llanberis Waterfall? I can’t seem to find who the landowner is.

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 25th November 2022

      Hi Darren
      If you are scattering into the water, you don’t need permission.

      Remember you should record the ceremony here –

      Kind regards

  4. Reply
    Hazel Sharp - 18th September 2022

    Hi, we would lime to scatter both our parents on Happy mount park in Morcambe, do we need permission, it is a public park, thankyou

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 3rd October 2022

      Hi Hazel

      It is owned by Lancaster City Council, you would need their permission. here you go –

      Don’t forget you can record your scattering for free here –

  5. Reply
    Heather Rodrigues - 24th August 2022

    My family is looking to scatter our Mom’s ashes in her home city of Belfast, NI. We were to scatter or intern them at the cemetery where my Granda is buried, but are unable to confirm his gravesite as he passed in the early 60’s. We visited with her in 2018 and went to many historical sites including Giants Causway and Dunluce Castle. Do you know the regulations on scattering her ashes into the water at either of these locations? Thank you.

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 26th August 2022

      Dear Heather
      Yes scattering in the water would be perfectly fine – here is the advice page – Scattering Ashes at Sea on a River or a Lake
      Kind regards

  6. Reply
    Margaret jines - 19th July 2022

    We would like to scatter our parents ashes on the summit of Helvellyn in the lake District. Who should we ask permission from please.

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 19th July 2022

      Hi Margaret

      It appears to be owned by the John Muir Trust

      Many thanks

  7. Reply
    Rebecca Louise Seabrook - 3rd April 2022

    Hi, we would like to scatter my Gran’s ashes over the Pembroke Dock Rive, do we need to ask permission from Pembroke Council? We did this 12yrs ago for my Grandad but my Gran and Mum went out on a Tug and scattered them in the middle to the Pembroke Sound and this was all done with permission.

    This time we just want to scatter them from the side.

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 4th April 2022

      If they are scattered on to the water and you have access to the bank then that is fine. I hope that helps.
      Kind regards

      1. Reply
        Liz Bowden - 4th June 2022

        To whom do I contact at Derbyshire County Council so I can scatter my dads ashes in the Peak District.

  8. Reply
    Desmond Earl - 5th February 2022

    I would like to scatter my wife’s ashes in the long walk Windsor a favourite walk we liked

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 15th February 2022

      Dear Desmond
      It may be possible, however you would need to ask the landowner and from the information provided I am not sure I can work that out, sorry.
      Kind regards

  9. Reply
    clara - 1st December 2021

    Good Moring, I would like to enquire if it is possible to scatter ashed from the Cobb pier in Lyme Regis or in the Langmoor and Lister Gardens in the same town. Who do Ihave to ask permission, the town council? Thank you!

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 1st December 2021

      Hi Clara

      You can scatter into the water and that needs no licence or permission. For the gardens you would need the council’s permission:

  10. Reply
    Denise slee - 25th August 2021

    Would it be possible to scatter our mum and dads ashes in the yorkshire dales.

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 31st August 2021

      Hi Denise
      Possibly, you would need to decide where and then contact the landowner to ensure they are okay with it.
      Kind regards

  11. Reply
    Nancy Woodford - 17th August 2021

    I have both my brother’s and mother’s ashes to bring home. I know my mother would like them placed next to her parents grave, but I don’t think it’s feasible as that would be scattering on Church grounds and I read that’s not allowed. So I’m thinking of Navan Fort in Armagh NI, minutes from where she was born. Would that be permissible?

    Thank you

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 19th August 2021

      Hi Nancy
      Have you approach the church? I would they may be okay with it. If they aren’t then you would need to contact the people who run the fort – it looks a fascinating place.
      Best of luck

  12. Reply
    Michelle - 4th June 2021

    My family would like to scatter my Mums ashes just off the Woodhead Pass, Peak District. Do I need permission?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 4th June 2021

      Hi Michelle, the landowner’s permission would need to be granted.
      Kind regards

  13. Reply
    Sharon Wansbrough - 14th April 2021

    Hello, I’ve been told by a vicar that it is illegal to scatter ashes within a church yard, I asked if I could scatter my dad’s ashes within the graveyard near his friends grave but told the only option is to bury them and have a memorial marker and I will be forwarded the fees. Is this correct?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 16th April 2021

      Dear Sharon

      It varies slightly, but with a lot of churchyards that is the policy – they only permit burial and not scattering. And with burial comes a cost.

  14. Reply
    Janet Nixon - 7th March 2021

    My friend wants to scatter her husband’s ashes on Bodmin Moor which is common land. Does she need permission?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 8th March 2021

      It should be fine Janet, although common land does not mean anyone can do anything obviously there will be covenants on it. It would be wise to check beforehand.
      Kind regards

  15. Reply
    Denise slee - 5th March 2021

    our dad wanted his ashes scattered on the yorkshire moors would we need pemission .

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 8th March 2021

      Dear Denise
      Yes that should be possible, you would need to check with the land owner if it okay.

  16. Reply
    Beth - 25th September 2020

    My mum wanted her ashes to be scattered on the top of the hill at Lulworth cove that looks over the water, do I need to ask permission to do this?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 28th September 2020

      Dear Beth
      Yes you would need to ask the owner of the land if that would be okay.

      Kind regards

    2. Reply
      Doreen Livingstone - 14th September 2021

      Would I be able to scatter ashes around York town centre

      1. Reply
        Richard Martin - 15th September 2021

        Hi Doreen
        I very much doubt it. You would need to contact York City Council.
        Kind regards

  17. Reply
    Helen Harding - 31st July 2020

    My father asked for his ashes to be scattered at Portland Bill in Dorset. Who would I need to contact about this? I am not sure whether this land is owned by Dorset or a private company.
    Thank you

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 5th August 2020

      Helen, you could scatter on the beach at Portland Bill – you would not need to seek permission. Other parts are owned by different people and organisations.

    2. Reply
      joanne Davis - 4th March 2021

      would I need permission from south shields council to scatter ashes a long a path way along cliffs at south shields near the sea

      1. Reply
        Richard Martin - 5th March 2021

        Dear Joanne
        I think it would depend on whether they are the landowners, often footpaths are owned be the person who owns the surrounding land.
        Kind regards

  18. Reply
    L.Long - 30th July 2020

    Could I scatter my mums ashes I Happy Mount Park I Morecambe lancs or do I need permission

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 5th August 2020

      Happy Mount Park appears to be a private amusement park, if I have got the right one here is their contact details –

  19. Reply
    Eileen Abercromby - 25th July 2020

    My late husband’s wish was to have his ashes scattered on the shores of Loch Etive. Will we need permission? We are planning to do this next week and had not considered whether permission would be needed. Help appreciated! Thank you.

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 29th July 2020

      Yes that is fine Eileen here is the page – Scattering Ashes at Sea on a River or a Lake

      You shouldn’t trespass to get to the waterside. I hope it goes well.

  20. Reply
    Marion - 20th July 2020

    Hi, I hope you don’t mind me asking. Our parents would like their ashes scattered at Mount Edgecumbe in Cornwall. Do you know of any pervious permissions granted or who we should contact please?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 21st July 2020

      Dear Marion

      I am not aware whether they grant permission – this is who you need to contact

      If they say no, you are still permitted to scatter in the water surrounding the park.

      Kind regards

      1. Reply
        Leanne Ainsworth - 10th August 2020

        Hi. My wish is for my ashes to be scattered at st John’s gardens in liverpool. Is this something that is legally possible.

  21. Reply
    Lorna Hukin - 17th July 2020

    I would like to scatter my brothers ashes in the lake in Weston Park in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
    My brother loved to fishe this lake.
    Can you please tell me how do I go about to get permission for this.
    Lorna Hukin

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 20th July 2020

      Dear Lorna

      The Park areas to be owned and operated by Sheffield City Council you would need to contact the parks department to gain permission. The appears to be a popular swimming spot so you may encounter difficulties. I hope it works out.


      1. Reply
        trudy jacob - 8th February 2021

        hi . my dad has still got ashes of our brother . can we scatter them on our mum grave in local cemetary dad would like this to be done

        1. Reply
          Richard Martin - 9th February 2021

          Dear Trudy
          It might be possible, you would ned to contact the administrator of the cemetery. This could be your local church or your local council.
          I hope this is some help.

  22. Reply
    Linda Powell - 9th July 2020

    Good afternoon
    My friend would like to scatter her husbands’ ashes somewhere on the Rhigos mountain in the Rhondda, South Wales.
    Does she need permission to do this please?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 15th July 2020

      Hi Linda
      Yes technically she would, I have had a look and can’t seem to find out who owns the land. Sorry.
      Kind regards

  23. Reply
    Dianne - 10th June 2020

    My parents met at a railway station where my father worked. I would like to scatter their ashes there. Who do I need to contact for permission, please?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 12th June 2020

      Dear Dianne

      If it is still in the remit of the current rail network (as opposed to a tourist line) then I would start by contacting Rail Track estates department.

      Kind regards

    2. Reply
      Liz Bowden - 5th June 2022

      Hi there, I want to scatter my late father’s ashes in Monsal Dale in the peak district, can you give me any advice on this please.
      Thanks Liz

      1. Reply
        Richard Martin - 6th June 2022

        Hi Liz

        This may be possible, it depends where you scatter. You need to contact the landowner directly. Some like the National Trust are more amenable than other..
        Kind regards

  24. Reply
    Victoria O'Reilly - 19th January 2020

    Hi. My Mum and I would like to scatter Dads ashes in the Rose gardens along Portsmouth seaside. Are we allowed? Thanks

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 20th January 2020

      The Roses Gardens are owned and operated by Portsmouth City Council – you would need to contact them. Here are the the contact details

      1. Reply
        Sue Bentley - 1st February 2020

        I would like to scatter my mum’s ashes at castleton as this was her favourite place . Do I need permission?

        1. Reply
          Richard Martin - 3rd February 2020

          Castleton in the Peak District Derbyshire is a lovely place, you would need to approach the landowner of the place you choose. There are two obvious options the Pervil Castle is run by English Heritage. Or the river that runs through the village. An alternative is National; Trust land nearby

    2. Reply
      Stewart - 21st January 2020

      Hi, I would Like my ashes buried under a tree. Maybe on a disused railway near where I live.
      Any info would be good. I live in North Wales.


      1. Reply
        Richard Martin - 22nd January 2020

        Hi Stewart
        This is our advice page on planting a memorial tree
        Burying is legally far more tricky than scattering
        You would need to approach the landowner.
        I hope that helps

  25. Reply
    Scott Lester - 10th December 2019

    My Parents have expressed that they would like their ashes to be scattered in the Waterfall/Cascasde at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. Whilst they both have at least another 10+ years (hopefully) I wanted to see if this was possible and seek guidance of whom I need to ask diplomatically without running the risk of being shot down immediately.
    With things like this, are there any negative health implications of performing such a task ?
    If this isn’t possible, then I have time to explore another location.

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 10th December 2019

      Here is the page on Chatsworth it looks possible. There are no negative health implications. I hope this helps.

  26. Reply
    Anne - 10th November 2019

    Coming from the US and I’d like to scatter some of my parents ashes (which have been mingled together) on the street in Glasgow where they met and eventually lived. It’s now in an industrial area. Do I need permission?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 11th November 2019

      Dear Anne
      Yes you would need to speak to Glasgow city council to gain permission.
      Kind regards

  27. 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 –

  28. 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

  29. 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.

  30. 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:

      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.

  31. 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
    2. Reply
      Becci - 17th February 2020

      My mum past away a month ago her wish was to go home to Liverpool be scattered in the Mersey will we need permission for that

      1. Reply
        Richard Martin - 18th February 2020

        Hi Becci
        No you don’t need permission. This is the boat that you can use to scatter ashes on the Mersey

  32. 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

  33. 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.


  34. 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

  35. 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

  36. 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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