The Chinese Water Deer is native to the river valleys and lowlands of China & North Korea. It is one of the oldest living known species of Deer and dates back as far as 35 million years ago. It was introduced to Woburn Abbey by the Duke of Bedford in 1900, and due to releases and escapism has now become naturalised in the British Countryside. Being protected in its native homelands of China, the UK is currently the only country in the World where Chinese Water Deer can be legally shot.
His natural habitat is the reed beds and grassland along the great river estuaries, although in the UK he has adapted to life in Parkland and its associated woodlands but they far prefer their more natural habitat of fen land reed beds and the Norfolk Broads. Although water is not essential to them they certainly prefer swampy areas, as long as they have some thick cover in which to lie up. Although CWD occur across Bedfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire all of our stalking is done in the Norfolk Broads as we prefer to hunt animals in their natural surroundings and there are more here than any other area in the UK. Their Natural range expansion seems to be limited, mainly due to their specific habitat requirements as well as competition with the stronger muntjac.