CHUG is a local charity based in Kingsland Basin, London N1.
Founded in 1983, it was set up to ‘promote use of the canal in Hackney’. In the early 1980s a Hackney Council grant to generate affordable housing enabled the dredging of the abandoned basin, and the setting up of moorings for residential boats. The individual residents formed CHUG, the Canals in Hackney Users Group.
CHUG’s key activities over the last three decades focused on educating about the canal and its environmental & historical facets, and advocating its use by working with schools and local organisations. CHUG actively improved the canal environment, and campaigned for sustainable development around the basin. CHUG works closely with its fellow water-based charity, Laburnum Boat Club, which uses the basin as a training space. CHUG supports LBC with resources & funds for inclusive water sport activities.
CHUG aims to make the basin and the canal accessible and enjoyable to Hackney residents and visitors alike. Open Days, including our annual Christmas Fête, and a Pop Up Café on summer weekends give the public regular access to the basin. In 2011 the moorings, including a series of boats, took part in London Open House.
CHUG also watches over the wildlife in the basin, which is a haven for insects, song and sea birds, bats, amphibians, fish and shellfish. South facing, and within two miles of the City of London, Kingsland Basin is a unique place, providing a tranquil & green oasis in Inner London.
CHUG still manages & maintains the moorings. This tightly knit community brings together people of all ages, and from all walks of life. The self-managed moorings, unique in the UK, provide desperately needed genuinely affordable housing in central London.
CHUG also looks after a Floating Allotment, a converted hopper barge sponsored by Shoreditch Trust & Capital Growth. The project was awarded the Green Edible Corners Award in 2010. 2012 will see us adding beekeeping to our endeavours, and – hopefully – replanting trees & shrubs to replace those lost to the current building works. We are also working with LBC to install a slalom course in the basin.
The charity promotes a philosophy of respecting, and living in tune with, the environment. CHUG hopes to be a beacon for alternative lifestyle: questioning preconceived notions of what (and how much) we need, and inspiring different ways & ideas for living in the city.