Jean Thorpe, Norton on Derwent resident and founder of Ryedale Wildlife Rehabilitation, has been recognised in the New Year Honours and will receive an MBE.
Jean will be presented with the award for her work rescuing and rehabilitating sick and injured animals.
She became interested in wildlife after nursing a bird with a broken wing back to health at the age of 12.
Jean said it was a complete surprise to find out that she was being honoured with the accolade.
“I was absolutely thrilled when I found out, but it was a huge surprise.
I still have no idea who nominated me so I am hoping that comes out now,” she said.
“I’m probably going to take my two children with me. They were really excited for me. I will probably be a bit nervous but you’re bound to be aren’t you.”
Jean set up Ryedale Wildlife Rehabilitation in 2005 and her work is entirely voluntary.
Last year she was awarded with a lifetime achievement recognition for badger rehabilitation.
She also works in schools to encourage children to appreciate nature and helps to educate them about the local wildlife.
Jean has also established herself as an expert witness in enforcement cases, supporting the work of the National Wildlife Crime Unit and now works alongside the police, RSPB, RSPCA and Natural England.
She said local people had been incredibly supportive of the work she does with animals and nature.
“When people find out you’re interested in something like that they support it and when you’re really interested in something it just goes from there really.”