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Fracking in UK national parks allowed in 'exceptional circumstances'

Demonstrators carry placards as they gather for an anti-fracking protest in London on March 19, 2014Fracking will be allowed in British national parks in “exceptional circumstances”, according to government guidelines announced on Monday as new bidding for exploration licenses opens. The extraction of shale gas through the controversial technique in national parks, world heritage sites and areas of outstanding natural beauty would only be granted in “exceptional circumstances”, ministers said. “The new guidance published today will protect Britain’s great National Parks and outstanding landscapes, building on the existing rules that ensure operational best practices are implemented and robustly enforced,” business and energy minister Matthew Hancock said.

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