It is often complicated to work out a comparison between coffin burial and cremation costs, as prices vary so widely. We hope the following will be of some help.
A grave plot in a local churchyard can cost less than £100 in some places. Instead of being funded by grave sales, the Church itself pays for the land and its maintenance. Local authority cemeteries can be fairly affordable, with the lowest cost being around £200 in north Wales and Scotland, while the average appears to more like £900. Many cemeteries will double the cost for people not of the parish.
Interment costs (the cost of digging and refilling the grave) may be hard to measure, as these are often soaked up by funeral directors or embedded into the cost of graves, if the plot is not bought in advance. A local authority may charge over £600 for interment.
In almost every case where a grave is purchased in a churchyard or cemetery, a stone monument is bought for the plot. The cost of a simple headstone will usually start at around £1000.
A crematorium's charges will vary as widely. The average charge is £400 - £600, including a 30 minute slot in the chapel. Although many will scatter ashes, there are environmental questions about whether this is responsible in some places. Some families find that, after scattering ashes, there is nowhere to visit the loved one. Crematoria or local authority cemeteries can charge hundreds of pounds for interment of ashes.
At a natural burial ground, the cost is immediately reduced because you are not paying for a headstone. That said, the costs vary considerably at natural and green burial grounds. The lowest are the most informal small farm-run sites in the west and north of England (as low as around £200), and the most expensive are the formal woodland sites, often in the south and east, with the cost rising as high as £6000. Some fees are inclusive of interment and a memorial tree.