A Welsh badger protection group founded 35 years ago is to receive a special award in recognition of its efforts from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) at the House of Lords.

Badger expert Michael Sharratt (75) from Whitland in Carmarthenshire, started Badger Watch and Rescue Dyfed after he became aware of badger baiting in the area and the organisation now has 80 members working to protect and rescue badgers across Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.

The group works closely with the RSPCA, particularly on badger culling which it strongly opposes. It also runs three rescue centres across the three counties for injured and orphaned badgers which are always released back into the wild after rehabilitation.

Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW, said: “We are very pleased to be able to reward Badger Watch and Rescue Dyfed for its work to protect badgers from the many threats they face. We are delighted to give the group our Conservation Award.”

Michael, who has cared for more than 130 badgers, will receive the award on behalf of the group along with Gordon Lumby, the organisation’s secretary.

Michael said: “It was wonderful to hear that our group was being recognised with this award. It was quite a surprise but I was very pleased. I have always loved animals and formed the group because I felt badgers needed help and that we can really make a difference. When we rescue badgers they are very good patients. They are strong animals but peaceful; they really just want to be left alone.”

Michael and Gordon will receive the award at IFAW’s prestigious Animal Action Awards ceremony, hosted by Baroness Gale, at the House of Lords on October 18.