MINCE pies, stockings and red breasted robins - that is how children would describe Christmas in County Durham to pupils in other parts of Europe.

Europe Direct Durham, which is supported by the European Commission and managed by Durham County Council’s international relations team, has organised a European Christmas Decoration Exchange for children across the continent.

Consett Infants School and Ramshaw Primary School are taking part in the exchange project where primary school pupils send traditional handmade Christmas tree decorations to schools in 20 different European countries.

This year two pupils at Consett infants chose to create red breasted robin decorations. The children used paper plates to create the decorations that will be sent to 30 locations across the continent.

Julia Graham, headteacher of Consett Infants School, said: "We are delighted to be part of the European Christmas Decoration Exchange and the children are waiting with excitement to receive each package in the post. This exchange is providing a rich experience for the children and motivating them to learn more about other cultures and traditions from first hand resources."

As part of the exchange each school involved creates a fact file booklet that includes information about traditions from their region and country.

Councillor Olwyn Gunn, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for children’s and young people’s services, said: “Ultimately at the end of this exciting exchange, each participating school will have a tree covered with decorations made by children in other parts of the continent, but most importantly they will have also had the opportunity to learn and share other children’s cultural traditions.”