The parents of a baby boy who died aged two months have been told to remove flowers next to his grave because they take up too much space.

Richard Burrell-Ashbee and Hayley Bridle were told they had broken the rules of Hove Cemetery because the flowers extended on to the lawns.

Their son Rhys, who was born three months premature weighing only 1lb 5oz, was buried in March after he died from heart failure.

Mr Burrell-Ashbee, 20, of Kingston Close, Hove, said: "It's ridiculous. There are graves that are really dilapidated. We have put toys and flowers on the grave and built a little fence in memory of Rhys.

"He had to go through so much in his short life. We thought this would be a good way to remember him.

"His grave is something we have always taken pride in and now they want us to take everything off.

"They should make sure the other stones are kept in good order, rather than penalising people like us who take good care.

"I don't think I've got to the point where I'm beginning to get over Rhys' death."

The couple received a letter from Brighton and Hove Council bereavement services manager Stephen Horlock, who said no fencing or planting was permitted on the grass area.

It asked them to reduce the flowerbed to within two feet of the gravestone.

Mr Burrell-Ashbee, an account manager, and Ms Bridle, 18, a travel adviser, want the council to reconsider.

However, a cemetery spokesman said all grieving relatives had been told of the rules beforehand.

He said: "The council wishes to ensure that all burial grounds maintained on its behalf are kept to a high standard.

"This requires simple regulations to be complied with by individual grave owners.

"This particular grave is located on a lawn section and no articles are allowed to be placed on the area reserved for the grass.

"This enables it to be regularly mown and assists in keeping Hove Cemetery well-maintained for all visitors."