Frequently Asked Questions

Where can you Scatter Ashes?

There is nothing in legislation preventing people from scattering ashes wherever they wish providing they have the landowner’s permission. For scattering on rivers or in the sea, no formal permission is required but the Environment Agency produce guidelines on how it should be done and the proximity to other users.

Can Anyone Scatter Ashes by Drone?

The release of any articles from a drone can only take place with a formal Permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Aerial Ashes were awarded this permission last year and it is renewed annually subject to following certain procedures, maintaining detailed records and reviewing risk-assessments. All crews working for Aerial Ashes have their own licenses and keep their own logbooks but they work to the Aerial Ashes, CAA approved, Operations Manual and are covered by Aerial Ashes full indemnity insurance.

How do you Receive the Ashes?

Families bring the ashes to the scattering event and they will be handed over to the Aerial Ashes crew upon first meeting at the site. On occasions where there are to be no guests present, Aerial Ashes will arrange to collect the ashes immediately before the scattering.

How Many People Can Attend an Ashes Scattering by Drone?

There is no limit on the numbers that can watch an ashes’ scattering by drone as long as guests can be situated further than 30 metres from the launch site. Those within that distance must be able to hear our safety brief and launch procedures. Once airborne, our drones will not overfly large groups of watchers.

How High can you fly the Drones?

The CAA stipulate a maximum height of 400 feet above ground or sea level. The drones must also be visible and within 500 metres of the operator at all times; in practice, they are much closer for a clearer view.

What Weather Conditions do you need to Scatter Ashes by Drone?

The drones used by Aerial Ashes should not fly in heavy rain and with winds of greater than 20 mph.

Can I scatter ashes at any Sports Stadium?

Sports venues are approached on a case-by-case basis. They are privately owned and permission sometimes varies depending on the connection the deceased might have had to that site. For example, golf courses can look very favourably on a request involving the ashes of a former lifelong member; similarly, it is easier to approach the owners of a football stadium when asking on behalf of a long-term season ticket holder.

Can I Scatter Ashes on Common Land?

We work on the assumption that all land is owned by someone and would thus always seek the landowner’s permission before scattering ashes.

Can I Scatter Ashes at Historic Sites?

The owners of the extremely popular historic sites would be unlikely to approve a scattering due to the disturbance it would likely cause other users. Otherwise, there is some guidance on what is expected if scattering ashes were to be approved. National Trust England and Wales state: 

The National Trust does not have a formal policy on this but is happy to consider requests on the basis that there are no environmental problems (ie. possible contamination of water courses or sources, no accompanying permanent or indeed ephemeral markers), that it is not against any wishes that may have been expressed by a donor [of the property], and that the act of scattering the ashes is done discreetly and in private with no interference with others’ enjoyment of a property.”

Discreet’ and ‘private’ are the key words here and it is for this reason that many of the events carried out by Aerial Ashes will be conducted early in the mornings.

Can I Scatter Ashes on a Mountain top?
Such sites are not normally approved because of the concentration numerous ashes scattering occasions would have on the local environment and the difficulty in achieving a private occasion. As alternatives, we look for quiet and more accessible areas in the foothills.
How do you get your Drones to the Scattering Site?

Our equipment travels boxed and in a motor vehicle so we must be able to drive to within around 500 metres of the chosen site. Some of our vehicles are 4x4 allowing access through farms, and on forestry tracks, where permission has been gained or across the sand if working on some open beaches.

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