A young mum has branded her local council heartless after they told her she could not release balloons in memory of her dead baby son.
Jade Woodyard, 19, lost her little boy Pheo just one week after he was born prematurely and with complications. She and her partner Luke Faulkner, 22, made the decision to turn off his life support machine shortly after his birth.
Jade and her family wanted to release 51 helium balloons into the sky at Maldon, Essex, to mark his short life on what would have been his first birthday. The bereaved mum spent over £100 on 51 blue balloons and one number shaped silver balloon.
But when Jade phoned her local town council to tell them of her plans, she was told that her 'mass balloon release' could be a danger to wildlife and could not go ahead.
Jade is now hoping the council will change their minds.
"It was so important for us to mark what would have been Pheo's first birthday," she told the Telegraph. "I just think the rules are totally over the top and they should have showed some understanding towards us and the fact that we are grieving for our baby boy."
"This is just a really heartless way of dealing with us - surely this is not a mass balloon release."
Jade now hopes to release the balloons at a local football club who have given her permission to use their ground.
A spokesman for Maldon district council said they took the decision to refuse requests for permission to release balloons in order to send a clear message about reducing littering and protecting wildlife, but said they would talk to the family.
"There is absolutely no suggestion that anyone would be arrested or prosecuted and the council would be happy to discuss more suitable tributes," councillor Mark Durham said.