Take time to pick the perfect place

There is a lot to consider when it comes to scattering a loved one's final remains
There is a lot to consider when it comes to scattering a loved one's final remains

If you have chosen a cremation for your loved one, you may be wondering what options are available to you when it comes to the final resting place for the ashes.

Most crematoria will have a garden of remembrance where the ashes can be strewn but many people will prefer a less formal location, perhaps one that holds special memories for the family and allows them to make remembrance visits part of holidays and expeditions.

Whether you instinctively know the perfect final resting place for your loved one’s ashes, or need time to consider options, it’s good to know that you can let your imagination roam far beyond the cemetery walls.

And if you do have your heart set on a particular spot where you can visit time and time again, it’s important that you first seek a landowner’s permission to avoid any disappointment – for you, the site owner and the wider public.

You will find some beauty spots are sites of Special Scientific Interest with delicately balanced eco-systems and this must be taken into consideration to avoid spoiling the characteristics that inspired your choice.

The peak of Ben Nevis has always been a popular choice for scattering ashes but in 2006 The Mountaineering Council of Scotland pleaded with the public to stop because the sheer volume of cremated remains was changing the pH of the soil, affecting rare plant life.

But wherever you decide to place the ashes it’s important you try to distribute them rather than dumping them in a pile – this way the remains will integrate into the soil more quickly and with lower environmental impact.

A beach is a tempting choice – the dynamic waves and vast space beyond create a sense of release and freedom.

We suggest choosing a quiet time and place – sunset and sunrise can feel especially poignant.

Inland water makes an equally good choice. Ashes can be placed in rivers but you should find a safe place to stand and be aware of wind direction so the remains are carried away from you.

Alternatively you can purchase biodegradable containers that can be placed in deeper water or floated on the surface from a riverbank or a boat.

A scatter tube is a simple but effective way to gently pour ashes as you walk along a pathway and make it easy to share this activity. They are also suitable for transporting the ashes in aircraft hand luggage.

And anyone taking ashes overseas should get advice from their funeral director. Some countries require special containers as well as particular sets of documentation.