In post-war Britain the priority was to feed the nation from the land and to reconstruct industrial development.
Only a few pioneers questioned the way progress was changing the landscape.
But, by the end of the 1950s, a shadow was being cast across the countryside and, for those who looked, catastrophe was looming.
At the beginning of the 1960s environmentalists are seen as "eco-nuts" and eccentrics but a series of high-profile confrontations with government and industry begins to change public opinion.
As the decade ends the burgeoning army of volunteer conservationists can no longer be ignored.
Once dismissed as cranks, their voice was finally heard as conservation entered the political arena in the 1970s.