Dr Paul Hargreaves

Paul HargreavesResearch Interests

  • Soil Structure and Soil Compaction
  • Soil Processes
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions/Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Grassland Quality

Research Projects

  • Soil compaction – Effects of soil compaction on grassland yield, greenhouse gas emissions (N2O) and alleviation of soil structure through surface spiking and sward lifting.
  • Development and production of tools for the visual assessment of grassland soil structure and quality.
  • Assessing the use of precision/smart farming methods to estimate grassland biomass using a sonic measure of grass height and near-infra red detectors.
  • The use of controlled traffic for the reduction of compaction to grassland fields to reduce yield loss.
  • Out wintering of in calf heifers to assess any effect on future milk yield.
  • Earthworm activity and numbers effected by increased soil compaction.


  • BSc (Hons) Environmental Biology
  • PhD Environmental Modelling

Previous Experience

Scientific Officer - London Borough of Harrow, advising on contaminated land and air quality issues in connection with site development.  Operating air pollution monitoring network.

Site Manager for the Environmental Change Network (ECN) – Rothamsted Research – collection and analysis and reporting of weather data, rainfall, water, atmospheric, river, soil and natural vegetation samples. Sampling and analysis for The Rothamsted Classical Experiments.

Plant Pathologist – National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) - testing of new cultivars for inclusion on the ‘Recommended List’ or ‘Certified List’ for farmers use.


I have taught a one day course on the background to soil and soil assessment to industry. Also the theory behind soil structure and texture and the effects and alleviation of soil compaction, including a one day demonstration of the Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure (VESS) method to international masters students in Lyon, France.

PhD Students

Mark Swaine - Managing the impact of grassland nitrous oxide emissions through improved understanding of soil microbial communities.

Selected Publications

  • Hargreaves, PR, Ball, BC, Roberts, D (2013). Grassland soil compaction enhancing nitrous oxide emissions. BGS 11th Research Conference, Sept. 2013.
  • Hargreaves, PR, Ball, BC, Roberts, D (2013). Grassland soil compaction: Effects on yield and nitrous oxide emissions. BGS & BSAS Conference Proceedings, Feb. 2013.
  • Ball, BC, Hargreaves, PR, Cloy JM (2013). Soil structure and greenhouse gas emissions. Proceedings International Fertiliser Society, 736, UK.
  • Hargreaves PR, Smith JU, Young S, Goulding KWT (2005). Development of an empirical model to predict nitrogen dioxide concentrations from weather variables for sites across the UK. Atmospheric Environment, 39, 409-417.
  • Hargreaves PR, Brookes PC, Ross GJS, Poulton PR (2003). Evaluating soil microbial biomass carbon as an indicator of long-term environmental change. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 35, 401-407.

Dr Paul Hargreaves

Grassland Researcher

Address: Future Farming Systems, SRUC Dairy Research Centre, Hestan House, Crichton, Dumfries DG1 4TA

Telephone: 01387 263 961

Fax: 01387 251 789

E-mail: paul.hargreaves@sruc.ac.uk