Coronavirus latest news: 4.7 million people in England waiting to start routine treatment, NHS figures reveal 

Jennifer Rigby and Anne Gulland report: 

It’s twilight, and the park is draining of colour.

‘That’s The Way (I Like It)’, by KC and The Sunshine Band, drifts tinnily across the basketball court.

People sit on rugs. Some have wine. Some are playing cricket in the distance. Below the basketball court, a teenager clatters past on a skateboard. 

The air smells vaguely of grass cuttings, and cannabis. It is achingly familiar, a warm weekend afternoon in a British park. But for months, our parks, skate ramps and streets have been silent and empty, as people of all ages stayed at home during the third national lockdown of the pandemic. 

That is why these June, noon, Sunday afternoon scenes have been transposed here, to a chilly Thursday night in April, because England’s strictest lockdown rules lifted this week. 

It is why this host of unlikely-to-be-seen-again images have been captured by Telegraph photographer, Simon Townsley, taken over the course of the last few weeks.