The official limits of the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park are the ones included in the Pronouncement Law, where are featured the official maps and the literal description. Nevertheless to have a clearer idea of where the limits are, it could be summarized as follows: starting at the Navafría Pass, the Park runs basically by the ridges of the Carpetanos Mounts, Cuerda Larga and Siete Picos, drawing an anchor shape figure. Its limits have a 275 km perimeter, with a surface of 33.960 hectares. That extension meets the established requirement by the National Parks Network Law 5/2007 (Ley Red de Parques Nacionales) which determines a 15.000 hectares minimum surface to be a National Park. In addition, the Park extension is sufficient to allow its natural evolution with a minor human intervention. That way it will be possible to maintain its physical and biological characteristics, granting the present natural processes behaviors.
The Peripheral Protection Zone, as it is defined by the National Parks Network Law is “the outer space, continuous and adjacent to a National Park, entitled of a particular legal framework aimed to project the Park values in its environment, and to minimize the ecologic and landscape impacts coming from the National Park outer to the inner”. In relation with the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, the Peripheral Protection Zone encompasses an extension of 62.655 hectares and affects to 34 municipalities, 15 in the Madrid Autonomous Community and 19 in the Castilla León one (province of Segovia). Its exact limits might be consulted in the Pronouncement Law.
The Sierra de Guadarrama National Park pronouncement entails several changes in the Valsaín Mounts protection. Part of its surface, 3.326 hectares have been included in the National Park, and the remaining 7.011 hectares belonging to the Peripheral Protection Zone have obtained a special judicial regime, similar to the National Park one, with the exceptions of everything related to the wood commercial usage and the Salto del Olvido hydroelectric exploitation. That zone remains then linked to the National Park, and therefore all the regulations corresponding to that legal framework will apply, with the above mentioned exceptions.
Las reservas naturales fluviales (RNF) constituyen una nueva figura de protección que tiene como objetivo preservar aquellos tramos de ríos con escasa o nula intervención humana y en muy buen estado ecológico. Dichas figuras de protección están recogidas por la Ley 11/2005, de 22 de junio por la que se modifica la Ley 10/2001, de 5 de julio, del Plan Hidrológico Nacional.
Los cursos fluviales son ecosistemas muy representativos en la Sierra de Guadarrama, además de ser muy vulnerables y frágiles. Además, el Cambio Global está afectando a los ríos por lo que la declaración de estas RNF contribuye a su protección y la adaptación a dichos efectos.
Actualmente en España se han declarado 135 Reservas, y de éstas, dos están incluidas en el Parque Nacional de la Sierra de Guadarrama: la del río Manzanares y la del Alto Eresma.
The Peñalara Massif Wetlands are included in the Wetlands Listing of the Ramsar Convention, which recognizes its international relevance as a natural space for the wetlands preservation. They constitute the only area of the Sierra de Guadarrama included in such an important international wetlands listing, and together with the Aigüestortes National Park and the Sierra de Urbión have been the first high-mountain Spanish natural spaces recognized in such a listing.
The wetlands are ecosystems fundamental for the biologic diversity preservation and the human being welfare, fulfilling essential ecological functions. They are a great cultural, scientific and recreational relevance resource which has to be preserved. The Peñalara Massif has more than 240 high-mountain wetlands, such as lakes, ponds, streams and peat lands of a great ecological interest and value, many of them originated in the last glacial period. We should highlight among them the Peñalara Lake, the most important and well known of the whole Sierra de Guadarrama.
During the last decades birds have been an important conservation driver in the modern and European Spain. In fact it is the only taxonomical group with an exclusive and pioneer conservation legal framework established by the European Union (EU). It is the Directive 79/409/CEE for the wild birds and their habitats conservation (DOCE, 1979). The implementation of that Ordinance in the Spanish Estate after its adhesion to the European Union in 1986, supposed the pronouncement of a lot of spaces as protected, which were denominated as Birds Special Protection Zone (SPA), aiming to preserve the catalogued birds populations and their habitats. The Spanish SPA network covers more than 300 zones, with a surface higher than 12% of the national territory.
In the National Park and its Peripheral Protection Zone more than 52.589 hectares are under the umbrella of that Environmental Status. Among them, 43.723 hectares correspond to the Sierra de Guadarrama SPA (ES0000010) in the province of Segovia, and 7.866 hectares correspond to the Alto Lozoya SPA (ES0000057) in the Madrid province. The last one has its full territory within the National Park or its Peripheral Protection Zone. The Sierra de Guadarrama SPA covers some territory which is not part of any of those last categories.