Natural Protected Areas. Pinar de Abantos and Bosque de la Herreria. Limes in the chestnut tree

Natural Protected Areas

The most unique natural spaces due to their beauty, their biological or geological wealth and their special scientific or landscape interest, are under the protection of different legal figures that guarantee their conservation and allow respectful enjoyment by all.

Created for the general purpose of preserve the most unique natural enclaves, the concept of protected natural space has evolved over time. At the end of the XNUMXth century and the beginning of the XNUMXth, it was sought to preserve an idyllic nature in its original state, later and with a better knowledge of nature, the concept of quality of the environment and quality of life was introduced. In this sense, protected natural spaces are currently considered examples of good environmental practice where a balance is sought between different activities.

Protected Natural Areas are those spaces in the national territory, including inland waters and maritime waters under national jurisdiction, that meet at least one of the following requirements and are declared as such:

  • Contain representative, unique, fragile, threatened or of special interest natural systems or elements ecological, scientific, landscape, geological or educational.
  • Be especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, geodiversity and associated natural and cultural resources.

At the state level, depending on the assets and values ​​to be protected and the management objectives to be met, Protected Natural Areas, whether terrestrial or marine, are classified into five basic categoriesParks, R.natural reserves, Marine Protected Areas, Natural monumentsProtected Landscapes. To these we must add the categories created by the different regional legislations, so that today there are more than 40 different denominations in Spain to designate Protected Natural Areas.

Today, the Community of Madrid manages 9 Protected Natural Areas in its territory, under various categories of protection, which represent a total of 15% of its surface:

Protected Natural Areas in the Community of Madrid
Protected Natural Area Area (ha)

Sierra de Guadarrama National Park (*Community of Madrid area)


Cuenca Alta del Manzanares Regional Park


Regional Park of the Lower Courses of the Manzanares and Jarama Rivers (Southeast)


Regional Park Middle Course of the Guadarrama River and its surroundings


Picturesque place Pinar de Abantos and Zona de la Herrería


El Regajal-Mar de Ontígola Nature Reserve


Montejo de la Sierra Beech Forest Natural Site of National Interest


San Juan Lagoon Fauna Refuge


Natural Monument of National Interest Peña del Arcipreste de Hita