People in Bolsover were first alerted to the move after flags began to appear near Oxcroft cemetery in Bolsover.
The flags indicate a drilling company intends to test in the area – the first step in the process before exploratory drilling takes place.
However, many residents already unhappy about fracking are horrified the controversial practice could take place so near to consecrated land.
“My husband is buried there - and my father in law,” said Ingrid Chapman, of Bank Close, Bolsover. “I think it is completely inappropriate to be doing anything like this near a cemetery.”
Ingrid said about 80 people attended a protest meeting on Thursday, August 31 at Oxcroft Miners’ Welfare, on Clowne Road.
People from the anti-fracking group at Marsh Lane, Eckington, also attended the meeting to share stories from their campaign with the Bolsover group.
“A lot of people are not aware of what is happening,” Ingrid said.
“I am absolutely gobsmacked at what the government would let them do without any planning permission.
“If they get the go ahead to drill, the water will be contaminated and they have no idea what they are going to do with it.
“I think it is like a north / south divide. There is going to be none of this fracking down south is there?”
An INEOS spokesman said: “These surveys are being conducted with maximum care for local people and the local landscape.
“For this reason we have chosen to maintain a respectful distance from Oxcroft Lane cemetery while carrying out operations even though the process could be carried out much closer with zero effect on the site.
“We remain committed to ensuring that the benefits of UK domestic shale production will be harnessed in harmony with communities.”