It took 15 months after the Wildlife and Countryside Act was passed to produce the final version of the Financial Guidelines for management agreements. They were finally published on 31 January 1983, as a joint circular from the d o e , m a f f and the Welsh Office, and came into effect at the end of February. Although it was claimed that the Guidelines had ‘been prepared in consultation with a wide range of interested parties’, the n c c had played almost no part in their preparation, although farming organisations had been consulted extensively. It is not surprising in the light of this to find that the Guidelines followed those developed in Exmoor and were designed primarily to maintain the owner or occupier’s income.