The newly elected Conservative government announced on 20 June 1979 that it intended to introduce a Wildlife and Country­ side Bill. In part it was already committed to introducing legisla­ tion on the countryside to follow the previous government’s Countryside Bill, but a further need to ratify the 1979 EEC Birds directive by 1981 led to a much broader — and much longer — piece of legislation. By August 1979 the first of a series of six consultation papers had been produced by the d o e proposing a range of measures concerning the countryside, and these began over a year of controversy and intensive lobbying on all sides.