By Ian Dunt
Nearly 5,000 people have become 'beneficial owners' of Greenpeace's plot of land next to the site of the proposed Heathrow runway.
The group caused surprise and anger earlier in the week when it revealed the purchase the land in an attempt to stop the third runway being built.
People have been signing up to the plan through the Greenpeace website, and the group's lawyers are now working on ways the supporters can act as a legal obstacle to the runway.
"The speed of the public response to this campaign has been simply astonishing," said Greenpeace executive director John Sauven.
"Thousands of people now have a stake in this plot of land, and our lawyers are working hard to make sure that they can all act as a legal obstacle to this unnecessary and environmentally disastrous runway."
At 03:15 GMT yesterday afternoon 4,640 members of the public had agreed to become co-owners of the plot, and numbers continued to rise by approximately a thousand people per hour.
Airport operator BAA described the move, revealed late Monday night while officials were trying to hammer out a belated government position on the runway, as "clever".
The individual's names will appear on the title deeds of the plot and they will be formally represented at future planning enquiries and challenges to compulsory purchase orders.
They join actress Emma Thompson, comedian Alistair McGowan and Tory environment chief Zac Goldsmith who are all legal co-owners of the plot of land in Sipson, the west London village that is threatened with destruction if the runway is approved.