County Durham kids have written and recorded a somewhat different take on the classic Yuletide favourite The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Children from Bluecoat Church of England Junior School in Durham laid down the track as part of Durham County Council’s Litter Heroes Campaign.

And there are absolutely no turtle doves, gold rings or lords a leaping within earshot – instead these traditional items are replaced with … pieces of rubbish.

The kids – along with anti-litter mascot Tidy Ted – appear in the song’s video wearing a mixture of festive clothes and superhero outfits.

The video shows the youngsters putting their litter in the bin – in the hope those watching will be inspired to do the same. The children also tell viewers that –with regards to litter – they “don’t need to be super, just be a hero.”

The video launched on the council’s social media channels yesterday – 12 days before Christmas.

Durham County Council’s neighbourhood protection manager, Cllr Ian Hault, said, “We’re really grateful to the children and staff for once again helping us to get the message out that dropping litter is unacceptable.”

“And what better way to do that at this time of year than with an alternative take on a much-loved Christmas song, which we hope will really capture people’s imagination.”

“Most importantly of all, of course, we hope everyone will follow the children’s example and put their litter in the bin.”

The headteacher of Bluecoat Church of England Junior School, Lysa Grieve, said, “The children really do think litter is rubbish and they also love Christmas.”

“So they were delighted to be able to sing this festive anti-litter song and we hope everyone enjoys watching it as much as the children enjoyed making it.”

The lyrics of the song are:

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas,

I put my litter in the bin,

Twelve newspapers,

Eleven burger wrappers,

Ten plastic bottles,

Nine empty wrappers,

Eight crinkly packets,

Seven cans of cola,

Six chewed up gums,

Five used cigs,

Four coffee cups,

Three carrier bags,

Two pizza boxes,

And an apple and banana skin.

Children in County Durham can still enter the Litter Heroes poster contest. Kids in primary schools across the county are creating posters that urge people to dispose of their rubbish sensibly.

The winning posters will appear on litter bins throughout County Durham. One child from each of the council’s Area Action Partnerships will have their design chosen and will be presented with a framed copy of their poster by Tidy Ted in a ceremony at their school.

Anybody caught dropping litter in County Durham is liable to pay a £150 fixed penalty notice. The council will also soon have the power to award penalties to the owners of vehicles from which litter is thrown.  

To learn more about how you can report littering, please visit

 (The featured image shows pupils from Bluecoat Church of England Junior School with Tidy Ted.)

Get Durham Magazine direct to your inbox

* indicates required



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here