ENVISION researchers kicked off an intense period of field research in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park with an-depth tour of the area, guided by field naturalist Francisco Cantó Portillo of the Madrid Mountaineering Society. The ENVISION team also had the privilege of hearing about the special management techniques for conserving the ancient Scots pine forests of Valsaín, courtesy of the director of the Valsaín forest research centre. The tour was capped off by a visit to an organic cattle farm at the perimeter of the park with farmer Fernando Mantecas, whose prized ibérico beef is marked with the stamp of the Sierra de Guadarrama.
Researchers María López Rodríguez, Miguel Cebrián-Piqueras and Veronica Lo stayed on in the region to conduct interviews and surveys of local stakeholders, aiming to understand views on governance arrangements, participatory planning processes, local ecological knowledge, and drivers of socioeconomic and biophysical change in the area. It is hoped that this information will provide useful insights for park management plans.