The sandbanks of the Cardigan Bay SAC are largely low-lying and most abundant in the east of the site, to the north and west of New Quay (see map below). Sandbanks are important, not just for the range and variation of community types present, but for the important role that they play in the food web and in the wider structural integrity of the surrounding habitats.
Species diversity of sandbanks in the SAC was found to be very high. The New Quay sites were included in a subgroup comprising the eight most species rich locations sampled in Wales. The subgroup supported just over 70% of the total 618 taxa recorded. This includes the nationally rare mantis shrimp Rissoides desmaresti (see picture).