National Parks will be protected from fracking unless there are "exceptional circumstances", ministers said.
As the latest bidding process for shale licences opened, ministers unveiled new guidance on which sites can be explored for gas and oil.
Applications to explore in National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, World Heritage Sites and the Broads will refused other than in "exceptional circumstances and in the public interest".
Business and Energy minister Matthew Hancock said the new guidance will be "robustly enforced" to ensure Britain's "outstanding landscapes" are protected.
But Greenpeace said the policy would do nothing to reduce opposition to fracking, as campaigners continue to voice concern over the environmental risks.
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