I FULLY support the points made by Catherine Collins in her letter (June 11) about the summer axing of Beechgrove, as it now appears to be called. However, there is much more to the duplicitous behaviour of the BBC.

The dropping of garden from the title is clearly not simply a rebranding. The seemingly-precipitate departure of Jim McColl in the first episode of the new series now makes much more sense. The recruitment of two new presenters who have not made a further appearance (unless I missed an episode) now makes much more sense. The non-reappearance of Chris Beardshaw now makes much more sense. The vague reference at the start to less of the garden being under cultivation now makes much more sense. The concentration on small plots and using only one greenhouse and a polytunnel, now makes much more sense. The false “competition" between presenters which bedevils other programmes now makes much more sense.

Ms Collins mentions the proferred alternative of a radio programme, which no doubt has its place as a radio programme, but as she points out it’s not television. The other alternative mentioned by the BBC was greater concentration on social media. Heaven help us. I have no wish to be driven into the arms of Facebook or Twitter in order to get gardening advice and information.

The programme has always been based in the north-east of Scotland, and this is a serious and severe cutback to the programming capabilities away from the central belt and particularly Glasgow, where much money has been spent on the new BBC Scotland channel. Is this the price we have to pay for the new channel?

Last year was an excellent series, with a concentration on developing horticulture as a career, making comparisons between varieties and techniques, visiting a wide range of gardens across the country, getting updates on science, and generally being the kind of programme which the BBC should be proud of and should be thinking of developing, not cutting back. This year’s programmes have been a shadow of their past quality.

The BBC should be honest about its intentions. Is the garden being phased out? Is the scope and coverage of the programme being scaled back? How on earth can it be considered appropriate to drop the programme for the summer? What is going on?

Stewart Campbell,