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Scatering ashes university

Policy for Scattering Ashes at Exeter University

Exeter University Scattering Ashes Policy

I have to say I think this is a first – an academic institution publishing a policy for people scattering ashes on their estate. Now these things don’t come about by random chance, the facilities department don’t look to create things like this unless there is a demand.

Therefore people clear associate strongly with their university. So I wonder if this is alumni or lecturers or both? Clear that part of someone’s life was strong enough from them to have this desire.

I applaud Exeter not only for allowing it but making it clear, a word to the wise however – these are estates that change and what might be a grassy spot one year may have some fancy to building on it the next.

Anyway in essence this is what they ay:

University of Exeter Policy on Scattering Ashes on Campus


The University of Exeter’s grounds are significant to many. Over the years, there have been requests to scatter ashes on campus, often made through the Chaplaincy Team, Alumni Office, or Campus Services. However, records of these events have been poorly kept, posing potential risks to the University. We encourage commemorations through donations like seats, trees, and shrubs.

Legal Context

In the UK, there are no strict laws on disposing of cremated ashes, but landowner permission is required. Not keeping records can risk the landowner’s reputation if known scattering sites are disrupted. The Church of England prefers ashes to be scattered on consecrated ground, but this is not always followed. Landowners’ policies vary, with some supporting the practice and others not.

Environmental Considerations

Cremated ashes can affect soil alkalinity and harm the environment by sterilising soil or leaking into watercourses. The policy must use discretion regarding where and when ashes can be spread.


  1. Application Process:
    • Requests to scatter ashes must be made in writing to the Director of Estates, University of Exeter, Streatham Farm, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4PX.
    • Each application will be reviewed individually.
  2. Granting Permission:
    • If approved, a contact in the Grounds Team will agree on a location and date for scattering the ashes.
    • Precautions will be taken to avoid disturbing these sites, but no guarantees can be made.
  3. Record Keeping:
    • The Director of Grounds will record the location, date, and details of the deceased, along with the contact information of the requestor.
    • These records will ensure the privacy of families and respect for other campus users.
  4. Privacy and Discretion:
    • Locations will be chosen to ensure privacy for families and friends and respect for other campus users.
  5. Future Visits and Developments:
    • Records will be available for future visits and consulted during campus development planning.

This policy aims to manage the scattering of ashes respectfully and responsibly, ensuring environmental protection and privacy.


Here is the actual document

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