How to Scatter Ashes

As the local regulations allow it, you want to conduct a scattering ceremony in a place meaningful to you. Some people do not find it right to simply pour the ashes of a loved one onto the ground or into the sea. When you want to scatter ashes scattered somewhere, it is critical to talk in advance to the person or persons who will actually have to do the cremation ashes scattering ceremony. These people might want to assist in the scattering ceremony. If you also want to know how to scatter ashes, you can read this article. This article can be a great help to you.

There are many options when it comes to scattering the ashes. When you want to do this on a private property, you need to take the permission of the owner. In case of scattering ashes in a public place, you should check the local regulations.

Many people prefer to scatter ashes in the place, which is close to the home like in the garden or flowerbeds. Some people even decide to scatter ashes off the deck. A farmer can also scatter ashes over his land. These places are popular because it is very easy to build a memorial on your own property. You can also scatter ashes in that place which holds special meaning to the deceased. This site can be a place like a golf course, hunting grounds, fishing hole, a hiking trail, a mountain or ski trail. There is no shortage of places to scattering cremation ashes.

You must have seen the ashes floating over the sea. You can use sea as the fastest way to the greatest dispersal. If you want to scatter the ashes far and wide, then the sea is appropriate. However you cannot build a memorial at sea and it does not give us a place that you can visit. You can build a memorial at a comfortable place to visit when you are going to scatter ashes in the sea.

Many different approaches can be used to scatter the ashes. Few of them are:


Casting is a method of scattering in which the remains are tossed into the wind. Here you need to check the direction of the wind. Now, you have to cast the remains downwind. In this method some of the remains will fall to the ground whereas the lighter particles will blow in the wind.

It is also permissible that one person in the group may scatter some and give the container to the next person. In this way, everyone will get a chance to ceremonially cast the remains. There is one more option in which people are given paper cups or casting cups and they scatter simultaneously just like a toasting gesture.


Trenching refers to digging a hole in the ground. The remains are then put into the trench. You can put the remains directly into the trench or place it in a biodegradable urn or bag. When the ceremony gets completed, the survivors often rake over the trench. The name of the deceased person can be drawn in the dirt or sand. You can also take a photo of this for a memory book. Family and friends can also join hands to form a circle. If there is not much wind, you can light the candles around the site. You can give candles to each person as a keepsake.


Raking refers to discharging the cremated remains from an urn on loose soil. You have to rake them into the ground at the end of the ceremony. It is advisable to keep the urn close to the ground while pouring the remains on the ground due to wind.

Green Burial:

Green Burial is basically done either at a “Green Cemetery” or at a traditional cemetery. Most of the times, the cemeteries allow you to place a biodegradable bag on top of a gravesite as long as it is buried. Obviously, you should check with the cemetery and look out for their requirements too.

Water Scattering:

Water scattering involves placing the remains into a water body. You can use a biodegradable bag or urn for water scattering. It can happen that the ash can blow back into a person’s face or get washed up onto the side of the boat. Both these experiences can be painful and it is obviously not the same memory you wish for. You can also browse the internet to find people who own boats and are experienced. You can also buy urns from the market specially designed to gently float away. They are also biodegradable. You can also see the people throwing rose petals or flowers into the water after the urn.


There is no law that specifies the scattering of ashes on ordinary land or in rivers is technically illegal to put the ashes on someone else’s land or in rivers without the owner’s permission.

The Environment Agency however published a policy about the scattering of ashes. This is to help and protect the environment. This law particularly deals with spreading of ashes on rivers and streams. There is no evidence that the disposal of human ashes in rivers and streams can have a negative impact on the environment.  However, the non-biodegradable items like metal and plastic can cause damage.

The rich mineral concentrations in cremated remains can also have a bad effect on the soils and eventually on the plants.

Do not:

  • Pour ashes within 1km radius of any drinking water supply
  • Pour ashes from a bridge over a river used by boaters
  • Fix ceremonies in windy weather because of the possibility of ashes being blown away.
  • Let any other non-biodegradable materials like metals and plastic bags to enter the water

Choose the time wisely to scatter the ashes. You can choose the time i.e. early in the morning or towards dusk. Now, you get to know enough about how to scatter ashes. Now, you can choose the time and place to scatter ashes wisely.

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