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Dumping of Ashes makes a Scottish beauty spot unsightly

Scatter ashes at beauty spots hits the papers again

For ten years I have writing about scattering ashes, where you can and where you can’t, what you should and shouldn’t do. In fact, in one of my early post I had angry walker in the Lake District blaming me [how very dare he!] for the rise in the number of ash scatterings at his favourite beauty spot in the lake district – Tarn Howes

He sent pictures. And he was right it had impacted the beauty of the site, there were little piles here there and everywhere.

This year it has raised hackles in Scotland, with a beauty spot known as Rhymer’s Stone, near Melrose in the Scottish borders being the focus of attention.

However, yet again the poor councillor is trying to sympathise, but making a valid point ie people should Scatter (and not dump). I’ll give you the definition (or part thereof) of scattering verb: throw in various random directions. That’s sort of the point, this issue is not really caused by scattering the ashes (well it is in some place but …) this is about dumping the ashes in a big pile.

I often wonder why people up-end an urn, as it can’t have been the intention of the deceased to go “ My last wish is be taken somewhere beautiful and make it that little bit worse, would you do the that for me Son?”, “Certainly Dad, I will pick somewhere glorious and slightly defile that place that you hold special, so that other users find it slightly more depressing and unpleasant”, “ Corr thanks Son you’re one in a million”. No surely that can’t be the intention. I would suspect the it number of factors.

The causes of dumping

Grief haze, I have just made this expression up, but essentially what I am saying is that fuggy cloudy period after the loss of a loved one, where you cope and you function but your actions aren’t necessary considered or thought through, you are so intent on doing the right thing or remembering in the right way that you act quickly without your normal due consideration.

Lack of planning, when families scatter it is likely to be quite rare that anyone in the group has much experience. Most of us at a certain age will have been to a few funerals, we know the rough drill what is expected and what to do, we even have a funeral director on hand to offer a guiding hand. But when it comes to scattering that isn’t often the case, events tend to be close family members and the whole thing is a lot more private. If you don’t plan and don’t what know what to do you can make mistakes: you may up-end the urn making a large visible conical pile of ash. You then think – ‘Oh I didn’t really think that through did I, what shall we do now?’. Do you then find a stick and try and rake the ashes (this won’t do you much good)? Do shift the ashes about with your footwear – which is neither dignified nor pleasant. Or, do your scarper thinking oh goodness hope no one saw me.

Understanding of the aesthetics, I have friends who completely wouldn’t get what anyone was moaning about and then we have the last lot who just don’t care, sadly there are a number of these people. Living on Dartmoor you do come across them, beauty spots with abandoned picnics just blowing about in the wind or crystal-clear rivers glinting with broken Heineken bottles, but these are the minority.

The thing is, these incidents are quite rare. Especially when you consider the amount of ashes that must get scattered every year. Let’s say 80% of us British choose cremation, 80% of those will have the ashes removed from the crematoria and 80 % of those will be scattered at some point, then we can estimate that every year a quarter of a million sets of ashes will be scattered somewhere. So, it not surprising that some people get it wrong either by mistake or otherwise. We think with a little bit of planning and forethought you can make it a wonderful ceremony. But there is one simple piece of advice – scatter, don’t dump, simple advice – Ashes Scattering Methods. Some advice on your Ashes Ceremony

scattering messing up scotish beauty spot


So what was all the fuss about

Sorry I forgot got to say what all the fuss was about. The Times reported that there has been a famous beauty spot called Scott’s View in the Scottish borders that has been plagued with a large number ashes dumping that have turned ‘sludgy’, and unsightly.

William Windram chairman of the town’s community council “The ashes are not scattered,” Mr Windram, a local solicitor, said. “In some cases [people] have dumped them there in a pile and they become sludgy.” See I told you so…

“It is understandable; these are nice places to go to remember loved ones, and nobody has concerns about ashes being scattered,” he said. “But when they are so noticeable, and things are left beside them, a little memorial, it can be upsetting.

“Children ask, ‘What is this?’ The next thing, there is a dog sniffing around. It may not be appropriate to have the ashes in such a visible place.”

He and his colleagues have written to the local crematorium, asking its managers to issue guidance notes to the mourners, advising them to dispose of ashes discreetly.

Mr Windram said: “We would rather people take the ashes and scatter them to the winds and let the winds carry them where they wish. Then they won’t be visible and won’t cause concern to any passers-by.”

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