Take a stroll through some of Southend’s best nature reserves, wonder at the rare plants and birds, and scatter your loved one’s ashes in a meaningful place.
Scattering ashes in Southend-on-Sea
For many people, scattering ashes is a deeply personal moment. It can be a really meaningful way to say goodbye, and it’s important to take time to plan ahead and ensure you choose the right location for you and your loved one.
While some people choose to keep ashes at home in an urn, many scatter ashes around natural beauty spots, usually places with special memories attached to them.
Scattering ashes is a great way of honouring your loved ones, and in the UK, people are generally allowed to scatter ashes anywhere. This can be along a river, sea, under a tree, at the beach, or even on private land.
To scatter ashes in the sea or a river, you do not need permission, but there are some guidelines you need to follow. It's best to seek advice from the environmental agency to avoid any issues. It's generally safe to scatter ashes inland, but there are guidelines in place to protect nature. You might need permission from the landowner also before you proceed.
There are many places for families and friends to scatter ashes in Southend-on-Sea, from Leigh Nature Reserve to Belton Hills Nature Reserve and football grounds.
Find your funeral director in Southend-on-Sea, who will help you arrange a cremation and give you ideas of a meaningful place to scatter your loved one’s ashes.
Southend Council’s guidelines for scattering ashes
Southend Council has some rules and regulations regarding scattering ashes that you must be aware of before deciding where to scatter your loved one’s ashes. The council does not allow ashes to be scattered or interred in formal parks or open spaces.
The exception here is the Scatter Lawn at Southend Crematorium. You will need permission to do this and an appointment arranged through the Bereavement Service via phone or email.
You can scatter your loved one’s ashes in a river or the sea in Southend, but you should consult the Environment Agency’s guide beforehand and follow their guidelines exactly. The council reiterate that you need permission from the landowner beforehand and share the popular locations in Southend used to scatter ashes:
Be sure to check with the landowner before scattering your loved one’s ashes.
How to scatter ashes
Scattering ashes can be a really meaningful way to say goodbye – and there are lots of different ways to do it. Here are some of the most popular options:
1. Cast them into the wind
Start by carefully decanting the ashes into a scattering tube. It’s best to do this in advance so you don’t have to worry about it on the day.
To cast the ashes, make sure the wind is flowing away from your family and friends, then hold the tube at waist height and start scattering.
2. Let the tide wash them away
Dig a shallow hole on the beach when the tide is out, then pour the ashes into it and cover over with sand. As the tide comes in, the waves will wash over the ashes and carry them out to sea.
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3. Create a garden feature
Scatter the ashes over some soil in your garden and use a rake to spread them evenly. You can then place a tree or flowering plant in this spot as a colourful reminder of the person you’ve lost.
4. Raise a toast
Fill some small toasting glasses with the ashes and hand them out to family and friends. Each person can then share a short story or memory of your loved one before scattering their glass of ashes across the ground or into the wind.
5. Make a circle on the ground
Scatter the ashes into a circle in your garden or a local park, then ask friends and family members to step into the circle and say a few words about your loved one. You can then rake the ashes to spread them out across the earth.
Two Tree Island Nature Reserve
Two Tree Island Nature Reserve is home to a variety of birds, particularly migratory species, and is a wonderful place to scatter the ashes of an avid bird watcher or nature lover. You can venture to the eastern half of Two Tree Island to take a walk before scattering the ashes of your loved one.
There’s a lovely walk you can take across the flats, with 6km of gravel and grass trails, but be mindful that not all 298 hectares of reserve are accessible to the public. The reserve itself is easy to locate, and there’s ample parking available if a large party will be scattering the ashes. Why not take a family walk and scatter the ashes near where your loved one enjoyed watching the birds?
Belton Hills Nature Reserve
For those interested in rare plants or insects, Belton Hills nature reserve is a wonderful place to scatter the ashes of a loved one. Located a stone's throw away from Leigh-on-Sea train station, you and your friends and family can reach the reserve easily to give your loved one a final send-off.
The 63-acre reserve is stunning and will be a meaningful location for many nature lovers to be laid to rest. Why not walk through the reserve and scatter your loved one’s ashes in their favourite part of the reserve? It’s a wonderful place to return to and pay your respects to your loved ones.
Remember to get permission from the landowner beforehand and consult Southend’s council website if you require further information. Planning will ensure that your loved one’s ashes are scattered easily without any issues.
What to say while scattering ashes
If you’re scattering your loved one’s ashes with other friends and family members, you may want to say a few words. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, but here are a few things you may want to include:
A bit of background about the person who died and the kind of life they lived
A story or memory that means a lot to you – maybe something you’ll always remember about them
Similar stories from other close friends and family members
One of your loved one’s favourite songs or readings
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