Behold The Concrete Bereavement Balls
One of the reefs, a mile offshore, will contain so-called bereavement balls – metre-high, dome-shaped, interlocking concrete structures in which the ashes of those who have been cremated can be sealed as an alternative to being scattered at sea. The balls will have holes bored in them to shelter growing lobsters and in due course, it is hoped, shoals of fish such as cod and whiting. Each ball will have a memorial plaque and relatives will have the satisfaction of knowing exactly where their loved one’s ashes lie: they will be able to watch from a neighbouring boat as the ball is sunk. The adventurous will be able to dive to see the site and others are promised pictures every year to show how the reef is developing.
The burial scheme is intended to subsidise the reef project, which will be administered by a consortium of local fishermen, diving organisations, residents and businesses. It has been partly prompted by the loss of trade following the successful creation of a diving reef around the wreck of HMS Scylla off Whitesand Bay in Cornwall five years ago. Although bereavement balls have been tried elsewhere in the world, they have never been deployed in Britain before and costings have still to be worked out. Building is expected to get under way next year and 6,000 young lobsters will be nipping into the site to set up home.