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Scattering Ashes Survey

A Survey of Best Places to Scatter Ashes … really?!

Always on the hunt for Scattering Ashes news and alerts: a recent ‘survey’ got some press coverage – of the best places to scatter ashes in the UK.  Actually, to be fair to them they called it an analysis, but as it got picked up by the media they then labelled it a survey.

So gripes aside, well done Sun Life for having a look at this. I wondered why they would be interested and then realised that a business dealing in life insurance would obviously be very interested in how and where their customers wanted to scatter their ashes.

I guess their researchers felt no need to declare where they ‘borrowed’ the majority of the material from (just type the word survey into the search tool on our blog page) – oh well. Anyway, let’s have a look at the meat of what they were saying:

[They] analysed over 50 locations in the UK – pulling together lists of the most picturesque, peaceful and accessible areas to scatter your loved one’s ashes.

This was their stated methodology:

We analysed over 50 locations across the UK, including National Parks, beaches and lakes to determine the most suitable locations to scatter ashes.

We looked at Instagram data, ONS data, rainfall averages as well as laws and policies to refine and develop our list.

Okay so using this incredibly scientific and highly developed strategy – cough – where have they picked?

most picturesque, peaceful and accessible

Have they chosen the most picturesque locations? This is quite a bold statement especially when many of the National Parks have very strict rules about the impact of ashes on biodiversity. Snowdon is 7th on their list despite the park authority asking people to avoid it Scattering Ashes Snowdon

Most peaceful – umm bit random, Stanwick in Northamptonshire in 2nd on the list and is a place I know well – it isn’t peaceful, it is a highly used semi urban park.

Most accessible – really? Northumberland is 5th on the list, it is a county, how is a county accessible???

The other two issues worth noting are:

Most landowners are happy for ashes to be scattered on their property – I have never seen any evidence to say this true and I would think that it isn’t.

They give cliffs edges as a location without adding – PLEASE DON’T!!!

Now this all sounds a bit gripey, I get like this when people don’t reference our work when they have clearly used it. I see why they did the article and they have made a reasonable hash of it: the advice is consistent and I like the inclusion on the Land Charges Registry.

However, for me one of the more interesting aspects is the nature of media in all this, so Sun Life’s PR team have managed to get it picked up by a number of channels, job done, glad I was able to help you meet your deadline in time! You only had to ask and I’d have updated you with our latest findings….The story has then been either repeated verbatim, slanted or tweaked eg the use of the word survey is introduced to increase validity. This transmutation is exemplified as the story was picked up by the Powys Country Time who ran with: Powys beauty spot ranked best in Wales in unusual survey  – see what I mean…

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