In recent years, people are becoming more aware of humanity's effects on the climate and how our environment is affected by our actions. Recently, there has been an increase in green burials, which are more beneficial to the earth and our environment. This article will inform you of the different options of water burials.
After cremating your loved one, if you decide to proceed with the idea of a water burial, you will need to go over your options and what is best for you and your family. The options in question are whether you would like the ceremony to be unattended or attended? Will it be religious? Will it have a theme? These are all things that you will need to have a think about.
An unattended ceremony consists of a company taking your loved one's ashes at your request, and carrying out your and the deceased's wishes in regards to how they want the ceremony to proceed. This is primarily done if family members cannot attend, whether that be due to illness or that they live far away.
An attended ceremony means that yourself and your family and friends are there for the ceremony, making it more personal, with the choice of music and poems to suit your beloved family member.
The scattering of your loved one’s ashes can be done at shore or on a boat. If you decide to scatter your family member’s ashes on a boat, it is important that you hire a boat that has enough room for you and your family to attend, if that is what you would like.
The benefits of scattering ashes from a boat include:
- Having the option to reach further distances that you can't on the shore
- Easier to spread the ashes
Although, it is worth noting that scattering the ashes at shore also has its benefits, including:
- No extra costs
- You won't experience the possibility of sea sickness
- The length of your ceremony is up to you
It is completely legal to scatter your loved one’s cremated remains into the sea, although you must consider if you are spreading the ashes within 5 miles of a coast line, as you will need to follow the guidelines from the environment agency.
The guidelines are:
- Refrain from scattering any non-biodegradable items, such as personal items that may contain plastic or metal that could affect the wildlife that surrounds.
- Spread your ashes away from buildings where people or animals swim.
- Spread the ashes as close to the water surface as possible, while avoiding windy days.
Pictured below is one of our scattering tubes, the Bamboo Eco Friendly Scattering Tube For Ashes.
Reasons Why Someone May Choose a Water Burial
Water burials have taken place over many centuries, dating back towards ancient Egypt and Rome. The practice came to the British Isles when The Vikings invaded in 700.A.D.
In earlier times, the body was sewn into a weighted shroud, then laid over the side, whilst engaging in the respectable religious ceremony. Therefore, people may decide on having a water burial due to religious reasons or their heritage.
Someone may also want to have a water burial for their loved one due to them having a passion for the sea. For example, they could have the interests of:
- Being a fisherman
- Being a surfer
- Being a diver
If they liked being around the sea or had a love for being at the beach, this could be a touching way to commemorate them.
Locations recommended in the UK for Water Burials
Here are locations in the UK that would be a good place for a water burial/scattering:
The Needles, Isle of Wight.
The needles of the Isle of Wight are the most photographed rocks in the world. The green and white rocky cliffs expand over the coast of the area, surrounded by the deep blue sea.
This location is known for being a stunning and isolated destination, surrounded by crystal clear waters, white crushed sea shells and sand. It is described by some as paradise.
Durdle Door, Dorset.
This is one of Dorset's most photographed landmarks. It consists of a natural limestone arch that has been created by erosion from the sea. The impressive archway is an eye-catching statement on this shingle beach.
Dartmoor National Park.
This national park consists of wide and open moorlands, surrounded by trees and wildlife inhabitants. The reflective waters that surround the park are homes to otters, salmon and other species.
Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB
This area has natural beauty that stuns all. It is surrounded by ancient woodland and green forestry. There are picturesque coastlines and a stunning rural countryside to explore.
Including other National Park Districts:
- Exmoor, Lake District, New Forest, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, the South Downs and the Broads which has equivalent status to a National Park.
Brecon Beacons, Wales.
A large part of this park has been labelled as European and Global Geopark. The night sky here is impeccable, having been awarded as an international dark sky reserve. The park is surrounded by green flowering trees and soft travelling rivers.
Pembrokeshire Coast, Wales
This location has miles of golden sands. If you follow the coast path, you will be taken on an adventure of eye capturing coastal scenery to towering limestone cliffs. A serene location to spread your ashes at sea.
This is the biggest national park in Wales. It has the largest natural lakes in Wales and picturesque villages. This location is surrounded by green mountains and blue calm waters. In the winter, it is coated with a sleek white blanket.
This park contains huge ancient trees and serene cascading waterfalls and different types of wildlife. Beautiful flowing rivers trail through the trees, creating magnificent awe-inducing landscapes.
Loch Lomond, Scotland.
Loch Lomond is a freshwater lake that is labelled as a ribbon lake due it's long and narrow shape. This calm and serene ribbon lake is surrounded by green sloping mountains that frame this location.
Other recommendations outside the UK:
Australia, Coral Sea
The Coral Sea is named after its numerous coral formations in the water. This sea was the location of the battle of the coral sea, which was a major confrontation that happened during World War II. It once was a location of war, but is now beautiful and serene, with glistening blue waters and natural beauty all around.
Acadia National Park
This national park has beautiful landscapes that have rounded mountains, tranquil ponds and stunning pathways ascending through the park. It is well known for its foliage in the autumn time and white blankets of snow in the winter. No matter the time of year, this park is a delightful location.
Yellowstone National Park
Many tribes and bands used this park as their home and hunting grounds in the past, as well as transportation routes. It was first established as a national park in 1872. This park is sat on a dormant volcano and home to plenty of hot springs and geysers. The most well known geyser there is called the old faithful, named after how regularly it would erupt.
Abraham Lake in Alberta, Canada
Lake Abraham is known for its spectacular display of methane bubbles under the surface during the winter months. Stacks of bubbles which look like pearls get trapped between layers of ice that form in the water, creating beautiful masterpieces.
Li River, China
This location is truly majestic, known as a cultural icon all around China. It is famous for its rocky mountain shapes, ridges and ravines. It holds lots of beautiful culture. Emperor Qin Shi Huang commissioned that the Lingqu canal was to be built in 214 B.C. This canal would then link the Lijiang River to the Xiangjiang River to form the Guilin Prefecture.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is South Africa's second largest city, it is known as the mother city as it is the oldest city in South Africa. Cape town has exquisite coastal views and charming blue lakes that flow beautifully around this landscape.
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
This location is in a national park located in Croatia. It is well known for its limestone canyon, that is connected by adjoining waterfalls connected to plenty of terraced lakes. There are scenic walkways and hiking trails that flow throughout the national park, taking you through spectacular forests and meadows.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
This location is known for its stunning emerald waters that flow through the landscape. It has an ethereal presence of beauty surrounding the mountains and emerald green waters. There are stunning limestone islands that are topped by eye catching rainforests.
San Plas, Panama
San Plas has a total of 365 tropical islands. The water surrounding the islands is crystal clear with white sandy beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. San Plas is a truly mesmerising location that holds such beauty and serenity.
Iguazu Falls, Brazil
The Iguazu Falls has more than 275 falls, creating striking paragons in nature. The best time to visit this arresting location is in the spring and autumn time as in the summer, the air is very humid and in the winter, the water levels have receded.
Things to consider
- Make sure that you use only biodegradable materials that can biodegrade over time within nature, so that you do not harm the landscapes and animals that reside there
- Always double check your chosen location's laws and regulations regarding the scattering of cremation ashes
- Follow the chosen location's guidelines that have been directed for you.