Campaign groups have lined up in opposition to fracking as the bidding process for licences gets underway, with claims that the process is bad for the environment and unsafe to the public.
Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth say plans to protect National Parks will not quieten protesters, adding that communities should be offered the same safeguards.
Today the risk of fracking has spread. This threat to the environment and public health could now affect millions more people.
Ministers waited until the parliamentary recess to make their move, no doubt aware of the political headache this will cause to MPs whose constituencies will be affected.
More top news
A 350,000 ton landslip in the Harbury area between Leamington Spa and Banbury yesterday is affecting both train services.
It is freezing cold again today in the cutting north-north-west winds. Northern Scotland can expect to see some snow.
Arsenal brushed aside Aston Villa 5-0 to move within a point of Man United in the race to qualify for next season's Champions League