A complaint over a photograph of copulating toads led a regional daily editor to ask readers whether he was right to publish it.
The picture, below, had earned toad patrol volunteer Dave Pressland a British Wildlife Photography Award.
However, the reader in question argued it was “inappropriate” to publish such a picture where young children might see it.
Peter, who admitted to being “taken aback” by the complaint, then launched an online survey of the Echo’s readers to ask whether he had been right to print the photo.
The social media poll came out in favour of the paper’s decision.
Wrote Peter: “Naturally, I wouldn’t print a photograph of two humans engaged in sexual activity on a public highway but I considered a pair of toads mating in the wild to be perfectly acceptable from an educational perspective.
“That said, I take all feedback seriously so I launched a reader survey via social media to check my instincts and I’m relieved to say that the decision to show the photograph of the amorous amphibians has received overwhelming support.
“Indeed, the innocence amongst Northern Echo readers has really been quite touching.”
Among those to offer comment was reader Jill Easton, of Darlington, who said: “Are we sure they’re mating anyway? They could be playing leap-frog.!
Dani Moore, also of Darlington, added: “I genuinely thought the top one was just getting a piggy-back.”
Peter responded: “No, Dani, believe me, the male toad only had one thing on his mind – just look at his face.
“Anyway, together, I think we’ve reached the right conclusion: this wasn’t frogs porn.”