Brits are hoarding loved ones’ ashes for up to a year because of restrictions and confusion over where they can be scattered, according to a new report out today (DATE).
The study* by The Co-operative Funeralcare, which has 880 funeral homes nation-wide, revealed that the most popular place to keep ashes was on the mantelpiece (28 per cent) but more than one in five would choose the bedroom. Cremation accounts for almost 75 per cent of all deaths in the UK.
Almost one in ten would store relatives or friends ashes in a cupboard while one in 17 would keep them in the attic, bathroom or garage. More unusual findings included keeping ashes in a favourite pub while one in 35 would keep the ashes with them at all times.
Around one in 20 people would like to have their ashes scattered at a favourite holiday resort abroad. According to Manchester Airport, people are advised that they should carry the urn as hand luggage.
John Williamson, National Operations Manager, The Co-operative Funeralcare, said: “In the UK, favourite beauty spots are the most popular places that people request to have their ashes scattered. However, many places are against scattering, lasting memorials or ceremonies and our research shows three out of four people hold onto the ashes for up to a year.”
“We would urge people to speak to their local funeral director who can help guide grieving relatives through the maze of rules and restrictions and provide advice on local options on where to scatter ashes.”
Snowdonia National Park Authority warns about the impact of ashes on the natural ecosystem and Ben Nevis (The Mountaineering Council of Scotland) is against lasting memorials.
The Woodland Trust asks that families do not hold any kind of formal ceremony and do not disturb the ground in any way but allows ashes to be scattered.
Lake Windermere accepts the scattering of ashes but warns that urns or caskets must not be thrown into the water as these have floated and caused concern to other visitors.
Football fans would choose to have their ashes scattered at the ground of their beloved team but worries about damage to pitches and fear of being inundated with requests mean many premiership clubs prohibit it or don’t advertise the service.
More than one in eight people would get around problems regarding the scattering of ashes by placing their relatives’ ashes in a display cabinet at home while almost one in eight would turn them into a memorial.
The top five lasting memorials or items people would choose to have their loved ones ashes turned into were:
- Diamond / Jewellery
- Picture frame
Other unusual items included mobile phone covers and key rings.
Burials at sea used to be the preserve of seamen, but over one in 12 people ask that their ashes be scattered at sea or on rivers. A number of companies provide boats for hire to enable people to scatter ashes in water.
Notes to editors:
*Research carried out online by Your Say Pays in March 2011 among 3,168 men and women aged 18 and above, across all regions of the UK.
- John Williamson, National Operations Manager, The Co-operative Funeralcare, is available for interview on request.
- For more information about The Co-operative Funeralcare visit http://www.co-operative.coop/funeralcare.
For further information please contact:
Public Relations Manager – Specialist Retail
The Co-operative Group
Tel: 0161 266 3589 / 07702 505439