A RUTHIN farming family will be allowed to protect their vulnerable son after plenty of 'heartache' and a u-turn by the council.

Elliw Angharad had closed off two footpaths through their farm, to protect her seven year-old-son Gruff, who has cystic fibrosis, from people using their land for exercise during lockdown.

After taking the decision in March however, Elliw claims she received backlash from Denbighshire County Council (DCC) - who saw the paths as "instrumental" to the wellbeing of Ruthin residents - leading to an officer removing makeshift signs late last week.

Elliw said: "We're lambing on the fields behind our, and we have hundreds of walkers going by every day over the past four weeks.

"As a family we've decided to close the paths for our own safety, and the safety of my son Gruff, who has Cystic Fibrosis."

After the signs were removed, the council decided to backtrack their decision and have installed their own signage diverting walkers in a result described by ward county councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts as a "win-win" for the community.

The decision is welcome news for the family - which also includes 13 year old Iago and Ela, 16 - who's have also been dealt a blow with Dyfan and Elliw's wedding in june having to be postponed due to the pandemic. They now plan to marry on the farm in September.

The space is vital to Gruff's wellbeing, as not only does he help on the working farm, but requires regular exercise due to his respiratory condition.

Elliw added:"It's extremely important for him to be active every day. He exercises to keep mucus moving away from the tubes in his lungs. This mucus is extremely thick and cloggs up the tubes which deteriorates the lungs. Exercise opens his airways, moves mucus and keeps him alive and well.

"We're disappointed that the officer involved is not made to apologise for his disgraceful behaviour, but we are thankful to the council for their actions in resolving the matter.

"We would like as a family to thank all residents of Ruthin which have respected and supported us and used other adjoining routes."

A spokesperson for DCC said: "Following meaningful and constructive discussions between the parties involved and the local councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts, leader of the council, councillor Hugh Evans as well lead member cllr Brian Jones, head of service Tony Ward and Joe Mault from NFU Cymru, this matter has been resolved.

"Due to the farm being home to a child who could be very vulnerable to the Covid 19 virus, it was felt the increased use of these paths was likely to be of mutual concern to all.

"It was agreed that two footpaths in the area will therefore be closed until the situation eases – although the matter will be kept under regular review.

"Both the council and NFU Cymru recognise these are popular paths and therefore it is with regret that they will be closed however, on balance, both parties feel this is the right thing to do in what could very well be unique circumstances.

"The council apologises for the inconvenience this action may well cause but would ask that walkers respect this decision given its context and make use of the many other walking opportunities available in the vicinity."