Key announcements

Due to scheduled maintenance, our housing repairs service may be unavailable for periods from 5pm Friday 12 April to 9am Monday 15 April. To find out more about the section 114 notice, visit our section 114 page

Burying or scattering of ashes

To bury or scatter ashes in one of our cemeteries or crematoria, you must make arrangements with Bereavement Services.

Who can bury ashes?

Only the grave owner can bury ashes in a grave. The grave owner is the person who has the ‘Exclusive Right of Burial.’

Ownership will need to be transferred to someone else if the person who has died was the owner of the grave. If you do not have ownership you will need to contact Bereavement Services.

Scattering ashes

On a grave in a Birmingham cemetery

The grave owner will need to make an appointment in advance. On the day you will need to go to the agreed meeting place.

In a crematorium Garden of Remembrance

The applicant for cremation will need to make an appointment in advance. On the day, meet the attendant at the agreed meeting place.

What happens next

Ashes will be placed in a special container if they are to be scattered. If you have asked for a minister to be present they will lead the ceremony. A council attendant will also be present. If you wish you can choose to scatter the ashes yourself whilst the attendant is present.

After scattering or burying the ashes, you are welcome to stay as long as you need to.

Scattering ashes somewhere else

If you want to scatter ashes elsewhere you must have the Certificate of Cremation from Bereavement Services.

Depending on where you plan to scatter ashes you will also need to:

  • contact the relevant council to scatter ashes on council owned land including cemeteries
  • get permission from the landowner to scatter ashes on private land
  • inform the airline in advance if you are intending to take ashes abroad
  • make sure you leave no trace when scattering ashes on a river, lake or at sea - you may need permission from a landowner

You can also contact Bereavement Services to:

  • apply for a burial (a ‘Notice of Interment’)
  • register or review the grant of Exclusive Right of Burial
  • transfer or find out more about ownership
  • find out more about memorials and caskets we have available

Page last updated: 22 February 2024

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