There has been a plea from the Lake District National Park Authority for people to act more responsibly when scattering ashes. Apparently families have been scattering the ashes of a loved ones then just leaving the box or urn behind!
I find this bewildering and infuriating: what were they thinking? Oh John loved it up here: the view, the fresh air, the open space and the litter; it was so special to him. I doubt that is how anyone would wish to be remembered is it?!
I don’t get it, to make the effort, go to somewhere special then spoil it for others – what is the thinking (or lack of it) that goes through peoples mind’s – is it simply that they don’t care, maybe some I suppose… But for those that do – and care passionately it beggars belief.
Mr Steve Tatlock, a ranger at the Lake District National Park Authority urged people to make the final resting places less obtrusive.
“It can be upsetting to see large piles of ashes dotted around, so we would ask people to spread them around. It’s about being sensitive but also responsible,” he said.
“We understand that families want to scatter ashes of relatives and pets in places they enjoyed. However, it is important to pick up cardboard left behind because it is littering,” he added.
Mr Tatlock also comments about the non biodegradable element of floral tributes eg the wire tiring the flowers being a hazard. Formal floral tributes can be off-putting for other users and I would encourage all those thinking of a floral tribute in a public place to reconsider or perhaps cast a few petals. The last problem is that people can leave little mounds of ash, this again is off-putting to others enjoying the space, and I have a little more sympathy as people often come to our website seeking guidance as there is precious little. Again this problem is easy to avoid with a little thought and preparation.
The article in the Independent also carried a comment from Mr Steve Curl, 60, and his wife Beth, of Underbarrow, which I totally understand, they discovered five discarded cardboard boxes at a popular beauty spot near a waymark cairn on the Langdale Pikes. Five!
“The fact that friends and relatives of the deceased or pet owners should carry ashes to such high places, scatter them and simply leave the boxes to litter the fells is completely incomprehensible,” said Mr Curl.
“I find the idea of scattering ashes a bit disconcerting but it was the rubbish that made us really angry,” said Mr Curl.
I like to believe that the majority of us act responsibly and these acts are of the few, at least I hope so.
One last thought, peoples names are on the boxes would it be unreasonable to contact the relatives and ask them why they chose to litter?
For advice on who to scatter – Help & Advice