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 some of the media they then labelled it a survey.
So, my gripes aside well done Sun Life for having a look at this, I pondered why they would, then the life insurance aspect made sense. Fair enough if a big corporate wants to to contribute to the dialogue, and to be fair they have brought a new angle – TripAdvisor meets the funeral world – posing some thoughts and ideas where people would like to consider scattering.
I guess they have no moral compunction to declare where they ‘borrowed’ the majority of the material from – oh well. 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.
These are good premises to base a location on – people should definitely consider these.
This was their 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.
Oh dear, this is starting to sound a bit vague and hollow. So the main element was based on pictures on Instagram?? They might as well have put we looked at some stuff un that innit, no need to look blah blah blah move on move on.
So, on the main three lists:
most picturesque, peaceful and accessible
Most picturesque – yes, they are picturesque but the most? Bold statement when you would choose an urban landscape.
Most peaceful – umm bit random, like Stanwick in Northamptonshire a place I know well – it isn’t peaceful, it is a highly used semi urban park.
Most accessible – really? one example is Northumberland that is a county, how is a county accessible?
They also quote Snowden, in Snowdonia as a location despite the park authority asking people to avoid it Scattering Ashes Snowdon
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.
Sighting 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 – well done – job done. The story is then 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…