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Video. It's already prompted protests and petitions and now the first legal blockade is being launched to try to prevent fracking in the heart of the region's countryside.
Although it's been ruled out at Balcombe in Sussex, there are many other potential sites including Hampshire, Dorset, Oxfordshire, the Isle of Wight and Sussex.
But residents living at Fernhurst in the South Downs National Park are directly challenging the government about plans to drill under their homes.
Andrew Pate reports.